White House press secretary Sarah Sanders exploded on reporters on Monday, strongly pushing back on allegations that President Donald Trump is somehow responsible for recent political violence.
ABC reporter Jonathan Karl claimed that the alleged mail bomber was a supporter of President Trump and the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter was “provoked” by the migrant caravan, seemingly suggesting that Trump’s rhetoric played a role in the tragedy.
“When you say he’s trying to unite the country, why is he out there making these attacks?” Karl asked.
Sanders came out swinging.
“The very first thing that the president did was condemn the attacks, both in Pittsburgh and the pipe bombs. The very first thing the media did was blame the president and make him responsible for these ridiculous acts. That is outrageous that that would be the very first reaction of so many people across this country.”
When Karl attempted to interrupt her, Sanders snapped back, “I’m not finished.”
“The only person responsible for carrying out either of these heinous acts were the individuals who carried them out. It’s not the president, no more than it was Bernie Sanders’s fault for the individual who shot up a baseball field of congressional Republicans,” she added. “You can’t start putting the responsibility of individuals on anybody but the individual who carries out the crime.”
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Karl then asked why Trump is “blaming” the news media.
“The president’s not placing blame. The president’s not responsible for these acts. Again, the very first action the president did was condemn these heinous acts. The very first thing that the media did was condemn the president.”
Earlier in the press briefing, Sanders issued a statement about the tragic Pittsburgh shooting.
"The president cherishes the American Jewish community for everything it stands for and contributes to our country. He adores Jewish Americans as part of his own family," Sanders said as she choked back tears.