At least 14 of the packages were sent to high-profile Democrats whom Trump has attacked, including former President Barack Obama and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Reporter Ali Vitali of MSNBC’s “11th Hour” asked an attendee at Friday night’s Trump rally in North Carolina what he thought of the mailed explosives.
“Barack Obama probably sent his to hisself [sic],” said the man, identified as Arvil Runyon. “And Hillary Clinton probably sent hers to herself.”
Earlier Friday, authorities arrested 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc in connection with the packages.
Even so, Runyon told MSNBC, “they probably had it done. They may have paid him to do it.”
When asked what Obama or Clinton could gain from doing that, the man said he believed it would be done to create more support for the left, “trying to bring people, feeling, over to their side.”
“Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this ‘Bomb’ stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows,” Trump said, adding quotation marks around the word “bomb.”
Many, including Obama himself, are arguing that the vitriolic words from Trump and far right-wing pundits hold weight with his supporters, sometimes to a dangerous degree.
As The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker put it, “these targets of Trump’s rhetoric became the intended targets of actual violence in the form of pipe bombs.”