Trump: 'I think I've been toned down'

President Trump on Friday rejected calls to temper his political rhetoric in the aftermath of a nationwide bomb scare involving many prominent Democrats with whom he has traded barbs.

"I think I've been toned down, if you want to know the truth," Trump told reporters before leaving the White House for a campaign event in North Carolina.


The president reiterated his belief that the news media has been "unfair" to him, a point he said he could make in more pointed terms if he wanted.

"I could really tone it up because, as you know, the media's been extremely unfair to me and to the Republican Party," Trump said.

The president was making his first comments since law enforcement officials announced the arrest of Cesar Sayoc Jr., who was charged with five federal crimes for allegedly mailing explosive devices to more than a dozen Democrats, celebrities and news organizations.

Trump acknowledged Sayoc is "a person that preferred me over others" but claimed not to have seen pro-Trump stickers on a van purportedly belonging to the suspect.

"I did not. I did not see my face on the van," the president said when asked about the images.

The president said there is "no blame" or "no anything" for the attempted bombings because other acts of political violence have been carried out by liberals, including last year's shooting at a congressional baseball practice that resulted in serious injuries to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.)

Trump said he would call former President Obama, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and other Democrats who were targets of the explosives "if they wanted me to" but added: "I think we'll probably pass."

The president has come under fire for his response to the bomb scare. Trump has made several calls for unity, but has stepped on his own message by continuing to hurl barbs against targeted Democrats and the media and by rejecting the notion that his rhetoric has stoked partisan divisions.

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