Before President Trump’s statement about the impact of the deadly newspaper shooting on the “conscience” of the nation, spokeswoman Lindsay Walters responded to a question about whether the president’s chronic criticism of the press might threaten journalists by stating: “There is no room for violence … . Violence is never tolerated in any form, no matter whom it is against.”

But it isn’t true. Trump and his Republican cowards have tolerated verbal violence against journalists, repeatedly labeling themthe enemy of the American people.” And what’s to be done with “enemies”?

Don’t delude yourself. Trump isn’t just being cute. He means it literally. He’s called for and tolerated violence at his rallies, and his rhetoric is incendiary. It’s his trademark, his brand.

Here in Maine, our own Trump-ish Gov. LePage actually called for blowing up the Portland Press Herald offices and left a vicious, threatening voicemail message with one of our most tireless legislators. How has LePage managed to stay in office when aggression is his perennial and ineffectual reaction to every human issue?

There are many forms of violence, and I hold LePage responsible for the deaths of Mainers who could not access Medicaid due to his denying their right to seek healing for illness. How many thousands more have deteriorated health conditions for lack of medical care? How does such a threatening figure keep the highest office in the state?

And how has Trump not seriously been taken to task for inciting hatred and hostility? Trump admires dictators who imprison and even kill journalists. How he envies their unrestrained power, the kind he possessed at the top of the gilt-studded and vulgar Trump corporate heap.

Anna Wrobel