'The President Is Obviously a Racist,' MSNBC Analyst Says of Trump's Response to Bombing Attempts

MSNBC analyst John Heilemann harshly rebuked President Donald Trump for his response to the series of potential explosive devices mailed to prominent liberal figures, including Barack Obama and the Clintons, last week.

"What he said was—and they are, I believe, the two most kind of landmark signal repulsive words of last week, which were, 'I'll pass,'" Heilemann said on Morning Joe. "When the president was asked on Friday after the bomber had been—or the alleged bomber had been arrested, whether he was planning to call Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and the other people who had bombs sent to them, the president stood on White House grounds and said, 'I'll pass.' That's what he said about that."

President Donald Trump speaks during an election rally in Murphysboro, Illinois, on October 27. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Heilemann continued his criticism, saying "the president is obviously a racist, obviously a demagogue, condones anti-Semitism, stokes up nationalist hatred."

Trump initially offered tempered remarks about the attempted bombing attacks allegedly conducted by Cesar Sayoc, who was arrested last Friday. The president said that "these terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country" and that "we must never allow political violence to take root in America," continuing, "I'm committed to doing everything in my power to stop it."

But his condemnation soon switched to partisan commentary. "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. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!" he tweeted on Friday.

On Sunday, the president tweeted, "Just watched Wacky Tom Steyer, who I have not seen in action before, be interviewed by Jake Tapper. He comes off as a crazed & stumbling lunatic who should be running out of money pretty soon. As bad as their field is, if he is running for President, the Dems will eat him alive!"

Heilemann criticized Trump's comments about the billionaire Democratic donor, who was among those targeted with explosive devices. Steyer started a petition to impeach Trump.

"It's not a question of whether it's presidential behavior or not—it's not minimally human behavior in these circumstances, and the effect that it has on his followers, on his devotees, on his base, is of course corrosive and dangerous," Heilemann said.

The analyst also took aim at the broader Republican Party and Fox News. "They were both corrupt, bankrupt institutions that were hollowed out and waiting to be taken over by Donald Trump," he said.

Vice President Mike Pence and Fox News hosts denied that their rhetoric could be linked to the recent violence, as left-wing figures have alleged.