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 TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future 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 ClintonTrump takes aim at media after 'hereby' ordering US businesses out of China Trump knocks news of CNN hiring ex-FBI official McCabe Taylor Swift says Trump is 'gaslighting the American public' MORE, Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersNadler asks other House chairs to provide records that would help panel in making impeachment decision Bank watchdogs approve rule to loosen ban on risky Wall Street trades F-bombs away: Why lawmakers are cursing now more than ever 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