Ex-DHS spokesman rips Trump over media attacks: ‘They are NOT the enemy of the American people’
© Stefani Reynolds

A former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) press secretary in the Trump administration rebuked President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE on Monday for his repeated claims that the press is the "enemy of the people."

"Over 30+ years as a U.S. Marine, I defended our country against its true enemies. In 20+ years as a USMC, Pentagon and DHS spokesman, I dealt w/ the news media nearly every day. I know quite a bit about the press and know this -- they are NOT the enemy of the American people," David Lapan wrote on Twitter.

Lapan served as press secretary at DHS from February 2017 until October 2017, when he left to join a Washington-based think tank.

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He was responding directly to one of Trump's tweets from earlier Monday in which the president revived the "enemy of the people" tag and claimed the press is responsible for the "great anger" in the country in the wake of a spate of attempted bombings and a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

While the president frequently derides the media as "fake news" or the "enemy of the people," Monday's barbs came less than a week after a man sent an explosive device to CNN's New York City offices.

CNN reported that another suspicious package addressed to the network had been intercepted at an Atlanta post office roughly two hours after Trump's tweet.

Authorities said the package appears similar to those addressed last week to CNN, former President Obama, Bill and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton Democrats plot new approach to win over rural voters The Memo: Sanders-Warren battle could reshape Democratic primary Rosenstein says he authorized release of Strzok-Page texts MORE, Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersGearing up for a chaotic year on K Street Maxine Waters: Republicans 'shielding' Trump 'going to be responsible for dragging us to war' Green says House shouldn't hold impeachment articles indefinitely MORE (D-Calif.) and other critics of the president.

Authorities on Friday arrested Cesar Sayoc Jr., charging him with sending the mail bombs.

While the president has urged unity in the wake of last week's violence, he has simultaneously continued his attacks on the press and his critics, suggesting they are to blame for political hostilities and stoking chants of "CNN sucks" and "lock her up" at his campaign rallies.

Trump told reporters before departing for a rally last week that he felt he had been restrained in his rhetoric.

"I could really tone it up because, as you know, the media's been extremely unfair to me and to the Republican Party," Trump said