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Steve Schmidt: Trump Stoked ‘Cold Civil War,’ His Rhetoric Makes Violence ‘Inevitable’

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 09: (L-R) Political Analyst at NBC Steve Schmidt and Elise Jordan speak onstage at Day 1 of the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit 2018 at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on October 9, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty …
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

In the wake of a series of bomb scares targeting prominent Democrat leaders, Steve Schmidt, a former campaign strategist for the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), called President Donald Trump the “greatest demagogue” in U.S. history — who has stoked a “cold civil war.”

“Trump has stoked a cold civil war in this Country. His rallies brim with menace and he has labeled journalists as enemies of the people,” Schmidt began in a series of tweets Wednesday. “That someone would seek to kill their political enemies is not aberrational but rather the inevitable consequence of Trumps [sic] incitement.”

The political strategist turned MSNBC contributor claimed, without evidence, that the intended recipients of the apparent crude mail bombs were linked to President Trump’s spirited rebuke of his Democrat rivals. “The targets are political not coincidental. Trump, the greatest demagogue in American history has celebrated violence over and over again,” Schmidt wrote. “It looks like someone finally took Trump both literally and seriously. The WH will feign outrage when this obvious point is made.”

Schmidt then went on to say members of media should be able to do their jobs without fear of retribution and warned against the damaging effects that “stoking of hatred and sundering” can have an American life.

“No journalist or commentator should be intimidated from making this point,” he continued. “The stoking of hatred and sundering of the American people was always going to lead to terrible consequences. Chief amongst them would be the initiation of partisan or sectarian violence within our country.”

Schmidt’s remarks came amid reports that the U.S. Secret Service had intercepted various explosive devices sent to former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with the New York Offices of CNN, which was evacuated after discovering a suspicious package addressed to the political strategist’s MSNBC colleague, former CIA chief John Brennan.

On Monday, progressive billionaire George Soros had an explosive device hand-delivered to his Westchester County compound. In a scathing New York Times opinion-editorial published Wednesday, the hedge fund manager’s son, Alex Soros, blamed the scares on President Trump’s “demonization” of his opponents.

The White House swiftly condemned the attempted attacks and called for those behind “despicable” acts to be brought to justice. “We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “These terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

President Donald Trump denounced the targetings and called on Americans to “come together.”

“Acts or threats of political violence have no place in the United States,” the president said. “This egregious conduct is abhorrent.”

“We are extremely angry, upset, unhappy about what we witnessed this morning and we will get to the bottom of it,” he added.

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