The slew of pipe bombs that were sent to high-profile Democrats and CNN on Wednesday appeared to have compelled certain media figures to rethink their words. On Thursday, Meghan McCain expressed regret that she criticized Hillary Clinton the way she did last year, and said it contributed to the division and toxicity in the American media and political landscape.
McCain, a co-host on The View, made her remarks during a discussion about the explosives sent to Democrats, including Clinton. "I've been doing so much soul-searching in my life in so many different ways right now. I talked to my producers beforehand and I wanted to bring this up," she said. "Last year on this show, I said I hate Hillary Clinton and I called her Crooked Hillary. And it is one of the things I regret doing."
McCain said that although she did not agree with Clinton on various philosophical and ideological issues, she should not have used the word "hate" to describe her difference of opinion. "I didn't think she was a great candidate," McCain said, "but 'hate' is not a word that should be coming out of my mouth on television about someone of a different political persuasion."
The View host added, "I do regret doing that because I thought, what have I done to contribute to the polarization in this country? And that is one thing that I can own that I did and I regret." Here's a clip of McCain along with other View hosts discussing the reports of pipe bombs and other suspicious devices sent to politicians and news organizations on Wednesday.
McCain's comments come a day after Donald Trump initially condemned the reports of attempted violence against Democrats and the media. "I just want to tell you that in these times, we have to unify," Trump said. "We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America."
On Thursday morning, however, Trump resumed his attacks on the press in a tweet. "A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News," Trump said. "It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!"
View co-host Sunny Hostin said to McCain that her owning up to the fact and regretting that she said she hated Clinton on air meant that she was a "big person" with a "big character."
"I, unfortunately, don't know if this president has that kind of character," Hostin said. View co-host Abby Huntsman also implored the viewers to keep hope and strive for a better dialogue with each other.
For McCain, the lesson remained in improving conversations on media. "I'm just saying, we have lost compassion that there are humans on the other side of us," McCain said. "Where are we politically that this is where we're spiralling out of control?"