WHITE HOUSE — The U.S. Secret Service says it has intercepted two suspicious packages with “possible explosive devices,” one of them addressed to former President Barack Obama and the other to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who lost the 2016 national election to President Donald Trump.
Within hours, the Time Warner Center in New York, where news network CNN has studios, was evacuated Wednesday morning after a suspicious package was found in the mail room there. A device that was contained in an envelope was safely transported from the site in a special truck by the city’s police department bomb squad.
— Ramón Taylor (@ramonctaylor) October 24, 2018
New York police officials said it appeared to be a live explosive device and the package it came in also contained a white powder. New York Mayor Bill de Blassio said “what we saw here today was clearly an act to terrorize” and stressed there were no other credible threats in New York city.
CNN reports the package was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, a vehement critic of Trump who is now a commentator on MSNBC, a rival cable news broadcaster.
Clinton, Obama packages
The Secret Service says the package addressed to Clinton was discovered late Tuesday, intercepted at a mail screening facility near her home in a New York suburb where she lives with her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Speaking on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton thanked the “men and women of the Secret Service who intercepted the package.” She said her family is fine but noted it is a troubling time of deep divisions in the country.
A second package, according to the Secret Service, addressed to Obama was intercepted at a screening facility at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, a 365-hectare military facility in Washington, D.C.
An explosive device was found on Monday in a mail box outside the home in the state of New York of billionaire philanthropist George Soros, a major donor to Democratic candidates. Media reports, quoting officials, say all three newly discovered devices appear similar in construction.
“We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures. These terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement, adding that the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies “are investigating and will take all appropriate actions to protect anyone threatened by these cowards.”
She later tweeted that President Trump and his administration are closely monitoring the situation.
“Our condemnation of these despicable acts certainly includes threats made to CNN as well as current or former public servants, she said.
This is an ongoing situation that President Trump and his admin are monitoring closely. Our condemnation of these dispicable acts certainly includes threats made to CNN as well as current or former public servants. These cowardly acts are unacceptable and wont be tolerated. https://t.co/YbMbCUWMPC
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) October 24, 2018