WASHINGTON — President Trump vowed on Friday that the culprit or culprits responsible for a series of explosive devices sent to several prominent Democrats and other critics of the president would be brought to “swift and certain justice.”
Speaking to an audience of young African-American conservatives at the White House, hours after police in Florida arrested a male suspect in the bombing plot, Mr. Trump said, “I’ve instructed the authorities to spare no resource or expense to finding those responsible and bringing them to swift and certain justice.”
“We will prosecute them, him, her — whoever it may be — to the fullest extent of the law,” Mr. Trump said. “We must never allow political violence to take root in America. We cannot let it happen. And I am committed to doing everything in my power as president to stop it — and to stop it now.”
“These terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country,” the president said, speaking from prepared remarks.
The explosive devices was still being discovered on Friday, with packages found addressed to Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey and to James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence.
In a morning Twitter post before his update on the case, the president characterized the crimes as an obstacle blocking Republican voters ahead of the midterms.
In a tweet directed to his base in the midst of a bomb scare affecting prominent Democrats, celebrities and news organizations, Mr. Trump also suggested that the problem was not real or exaggerated, putting the word “bomb” in quotes.
“Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this “Bomb” stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows – news not talking politics,” Mr. Trump said. “Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!”
Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly taken a partisan stance during times of national crisis, again showed on Thursday that he had little interest in following through with a message of unification that he sent from the East Room just two days ago, when packages resembling explosives were sent to former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump’s former Democratic challenger. She, like Mr. Obama and several others who have received packages, including Robert De Niro to Maxine Waters, has been a frequent target of the president, both on Twitter and at his rallies.
[‘False flag’ theory on the pipe bombs has moved to the mainstream]