Former McCain adviser: Trump has ‘stoked a cold civil war’ in America

Former McCain adviser: Trump has ‘stoked a cold civil war’ in America
© Getty Images

Former McCain adviser Steve Schmidt on Wednesday blamed President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness school deans call for lifting country-specific visa caps Bolton told ex-Trump aide to call White House lawyers about Ukraine pressure campaign: report Federal prosecutors in New York examining Giuliani business dealings with Ukraine: report MORE's rhetoric for the explosives sent to prominent Democrats this week, saying the president has "stoked a cold civil war" in the U.S.

Schmidt's comments come as suspicious packages containing explosives were sent to Democratic figures including the Clintons, the Obamas, mega-donor George Soros, Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Video depicting Trump killing media, critics draws backlash Backlash erupts at video depicting Trump killing media, critics Cindy McCain condemns video of fake Trump shooting political opponents, late husband MORE (D-Calif.), former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderAmash: Trump incorrect in claiming Congress didn't subpoena Obama officials We can't allow presidents and public opinion to further diminish the work of the press Democrats sue over North Carolina's congressional maps MORE and former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanKrystal Ball defends praise of Yang: I am not 'a Russian plant' We need answers to questions mainstream media won't ask about Democrats Former Reagan official rips Republicans for backing Trump: 'It's like the invasion of the body snatchers' MORE, as well as sent to CNN headquarters in New York. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Each of these targets have been publicly mocked and antagonized by the president. 

"Trump has stoked a cold civil war in this Country," Schmidt, an MSNBC contributor who has renounced the GOP, wrote on Twitter. "His rallies brim with menace and he has labeled journalists as enemies of the people. That someone would seek to kill their political enemies is not aberrational but rather the inevitable consequence of Trumps incitement." 

Trump on Thursday morning tweeted that "mainstream media" is to blame for the "anger we see today in our society."

"The targets are political, not coincidental," Schmidt wrote. "It looks like someone finally took Trump both literally and seriously."

As of Thursday morning, authorities had intercepted nine packages bearing similar characteristics. The FBI has launched an investigation into who is behind the attacks. 

None of the explosives, described as crude pipe bombs, detonated before authorities found them.

Democrats immediately began to tie the attacks to incendiary GOP rhetoric, which has sometimes positioned the targeted figures as evil or immoral. 

When Trump on Wednesday afternoon called for national unity following the attacks, top Democratic leaders called his message "hollow."

"Time and time again, the President has condoned physical violence and divided Americans with his words and his actions," Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump defends 'crime buster' Giuliani amid reported probe Louisiana voters head to the polls in governor's race as Trump urges GOP support Trump urges Louisiana voters to back GOP in governor's race then 'enjoy the game' MORE (N.Y.) and House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi says Trump sanctions package on Turkey 'falls very short' Graham throws support behind Trump's Turkey sanctions Feehery: Trump may be down, but he's not out yet MORE (Calif.) said in a joint statement. "President Trump's words ring hollow until he reverses his statements that condone acts of violence." 

Republicans have hit back that both sides are to blame for the country's aggravated political divisions.