President Donald Trump on Sunday, just days after calling for civility on “all sides” following mail bomb attacks on prominent Democrats, called billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer a “crazed & stumbling lunatic” on Twitter.
Steyer was the intended recipient of one of at least 13 pipe bombs that were discovered last week. The packages were also addressed to CNN and other high-profile Democrats, including Hillary and Bill Clinton and former President Barack Obama. Police have arrested a Trump supporter in Florida in connection with the devices, which never detonated.
“Just watched Wacky Tom Steyer, who I have not seen in action before, be interviewed by [CNN’s Jake Tapper],” Trump tweeted. “He comes off as a crazed & stumbling lunatic who should be running out of money pretty soon.”
Minutes earlier, Steyer had appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union,” where he addressed being targeted in the mail bomb attacks, as well as conspiracy theories claiming that he and other Jewish billionaire Democrats had attempted to buy the 2018 election.
There is an “atmosphere that [Trump has] created and that the Republican party has created in terms of political violence,” Steyer told Tapper. “I think if you look across the political scene, what you see is routine, systematic lawlessness ― an attempt to break ... democratic norms in pursuit of victory at all costs.”
Steyer noted that there has been “bad behavior” on both sides of the aisle, but suggested Republican officials were less likely to condemn problematic rhetoric.
“You don’t find prominent Democrats who are leading chants with violent overtones like ‘Lock her up,’ ‘CNN sucks’ ― all the kinds of attempts to play to people’s strongest emotions,” Steyer said. “That creates an atmosphere where anything can bubble up and anything is bubbling up.”
Steyer and Tapper separately fired back at Trump’s tweet on Sunday.
“It is unthinkable that in the midst of the horrible political violence our president would resort to name-calling instead of repairing the damage to the fabric of our country,” tweeted Steyer, who is reportedly considering a 2020 presidential bid.
Tapper, who often criticizes Trump’s aggressive remarks toward the media and others, simply thanked the president for watching CNN.