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Trump mocks 'crazed & stumbling lunatic' Tom Steyer, after billionaire rips president's rhetoric

October 28, 2018

President Trump derided rival billionaire Tom Steyer as a "wacky" and "crazed & stumbling lunatic" on Sunday, after Steyer -- who was one of the prominent liberals to receive a threatening suspicious package last week -- said he "absolutely was blaming" Trump for creating an atmosphere in which "anything can bubble up, and anything is bubbling up."

 

Steyer fired back quickly, writing that Trump's comment was "unthinkable ... in the midst of the horrible political violence."

 

The Twitter conflagration erupted after Steyer's wide-ranging interview with CNN's "State of the Union," in which the hedge fund manager called Trump "corrupt," and accused him of "the most abject dereliction of duty in the history of the country" by "willingly putting Americans in harm's way" because he has dismissed a major United Nations report on global climate change.

 

Steyer not only appeared to implicate the president's rhetoric in the explosive devices allegedly mailed by Trump supporter Cesar Sayoc to top liberal figures, but also in the deadly mass shooting by gunman Robert Gregory Bowers at a synagogue on Saturday. Bowers regularly posted anti-Trump and anti-Semitic comments on social media.

 

"I think his response to the tragedy [Saturday] was appropriate, but there's something much bigger than that going on here, which is the atmosphere that he's created -- and that the Republican Party has created -- in terms of political violence," Steyer said. "If you look across the political scene, what you see is routine, systematic lawlessness. ... We see it in a president who has been breaking the law systematically, as a candidate, as a businessman, and as a president."

 

Steyer charged that Trump wants to undermine "the laws of the United States" and conduct an "attack on the rule of law," although he stopped short of saying Trump was directly responsible for any physical acts of violence.

 

Tapper pointed out that last year, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., was nearly killed when a left-wing gunman shot him and two others with a rifle at a GOP congressional baseball practice. And earlier this month, a Utah man was arrested and accused of attempting to send a crude form of the poison ricin to Trump and to the Pentagon.

 

"I would say there has been bad behavior on both sides," Steyer conceded, although he went on to characterize Tapper's remarks as a "false equivalence" because, he said, Republicans behaved significantly worse. "You can't find prominent Democrats who are leading chants with violent overtones. ... all the kinds of attempts to play to people's strongest emotions."

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