Suspicious packages: Examining Trump's populist rhetoric
Updated 15:22, 28-Oct-2018
Suspected explosive devices were sent to top Democratic leaders including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, US officials said on Wednesday. 
Media outlet CNN's New York office was also evacuated on Oct. 24 after a suspected explosive was sent to their building. 
Though Trump has since condemned the acts of attempted violence, he has a history of doing the opposite. 
During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump would often incite his supporters to take action against protesters. 
At one rally, he even went so far as to offer legal defense to any supporter who injures a demonstrator. A March 2018 study by the University of Pennsylvania revealed that cities that hosted Trump campaign rallies saw the number of assaults surge to levels more than twice the normal rate on those days. 
Trump's populist messages may energize his base, but their actions would only lead to more problems. In 2017, one of his supporters mowed down a crowd of demonstrators protesting a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia – killing one and injuring 28 others. 
Trump came under fire for not immediately condemning the attack. He received even more backlash for later claiming that there were good people on "both sides" of the rally.
Trump's most prominent populist message was his "drain the swamp" mantra. During his presidential bid, Trump called on his supporters to vote him into power, because only he can bring an end to what he later called "American carnage" in his inauguration speech. But this populist message is a double-edged sword.
Many right-wing conspiracy theories that link several recipients of the explosives on Wednesday continue to brew under the surface. One such debunked myth led a man from North Carolina to take matters into his own hands in late 2016, when he stormed into a pizza restaurant at the center of the conspiracy, and fired several rounds. The pizzeria was allegedly where a pedophile ring – headed by the Clintons – held children. Thankfully, no one was injured. 
Trump has even routinely chosen to prevent alienating white nationalist supporters by refusing to condemn them. One such opportunity came after Trump's inauguration, when Richard Spencer – an outspoken white supremacist – and his followers held up Nazi salutes and shouted "hail Trump, hail victory." Something he has not commented on since.