‘Potential explosive devices’ sent to Clinton, Obama; suspicious packages also sent to CNN and others
- The Secret Service says “potential explosive devices” were addressed to former President Barack Obama and ex-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
- The New York Times describes the package, addressed to Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, New York, as an “explosive device,” citing a law enforcement official. Clinton lives at the Westchester County residence with her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
- The Secret Service says the package addressed to Obama was intercepted by agency personnel in Washington on Wednesday morning.
Kevin Breuninger | @KevinWilliamB
Published 3 Hours Ago Updated 2 Mins AgoCNBC.com
The Secret Service said Wednesday “potential explosive devices” addressed to former President Barack Obama and ex-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have been intercepted, and New York police evacuated the Time Warner Center to investigate another suspicious package.
Media reports also said the office of Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, also were evacuated after a suspicious package was found.
Two days earlier, an explosive device was found at the home of politically active billionaire George Soros, a pariah to the right wing. Soros’ home in Bedford, New York, is a few miles from the Clintons’ residence.
NBC reported that the devices addressed to Obama, Clinton and Soros share a number of characteristics. The packaging in which they were sent is almost exactly the same for all three devices, and they each have a return address belonging to a former Democratic party official, according to NBC.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that the Trump administration condemns the “terrorizing acts” against Obama, the Clintons and “other public figures.”
“We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures,” Sanders said. “These terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. The United States Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies are investigating and will take all appropriate actions to protect anyone threatened by these cowards.”
President Donald Trump said he agrees “wholeheartedly” with Vice President Mike Pence’s statement condemning the “attempted attacks.
I agree wholeheartedly! https://t.co/ndzu0A30vU
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2018
Other influential Democrats are taking precautions on the heels of the reports. Kevin Mack, senior advisor for billionaire and potential Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, told CNBC “they have a security team sweeping through his offices and home as a precaution. They are doing their job to make everyone safe. We take everything seriously.
Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said in a tweet that “nothing” sent to Clinton “got to any home.”
The Secret Service said the package addressed to Obama was intercepted by agency personnel in Washington on Wednesday morning.
“The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such. Both packages were intercepted prior to being delivered to their intended location. The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them,” the agency said.
A short time later, NBC reported that New York police had been called to the Time Warner Center in midtown Manhattan to investigate another suspicious package.
The headquarters of CNN, which is frequently criticized by Trump, are located in the Time Warner Center. In a memo sent to CNN employees, the news outlet’s president, Jeff Zucker, said to “remain calm and patient.”
CNN reported that the package found at the Time Warner Center was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan in care of CNN. Brennan, who served during the Obama administration, has become a virulent critic of Trump and has excoriated the president on television as a contributor to MSNBC, a sister news network to CNBC. Trump stripped him of his federal security clearance in August.
The Secret Service said that reports of a suspicious package addressed to the White House are “incorrect.”
Explosive device found in George Soros’ mailbox
Soros’ home in Bedford, New York, is a few miles from the Clintons’ residence. Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said in a tweet that “nothing” sent to Clinton “got to any home.”
New Castle Police Lt. James Carroll told CNBC his department has assisted the FBI and U.S. Secret Service in investigating the package sent to the nearby home of the Clintons. It was discovered Tuesday night.
In a tweet Wednesday morning, the New York branch of the FBI acknowledged the existence of the package sent to the Clintons, but said it would decline further comment on the ongoing investigation.
A spokeswoman for Obama declined to comment and referred CNBC to the Secret Service. Clinton representatives did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for further comment.
Hillary Clinton is currently in Florida to attend a fundraising event, NBC reported. Bill Clinton was at the New York home.
Senior Republican lawmakers were quick to condemn the actions against their political opponents.