Bombs sent to Obama, Clinton; explosives scare at CNN
Authorities have intercepted suspicious devices intended for former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and the Florida office of Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was evacuated Wednesday after a suspicious package was mailed there, CNN reported.
Also, CNN's New York bureau in the Time Warner Center was evacuated after a package with an explosive device, addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, was discovered, city and local law enforcement officials said. The San Diego Union-Tribune also reported that it had evacuated its building after "a stack of suspicious looking packages" was spotted outside.
CNN, citing a law enforcement official, was initially told a suspicious package containing a pipe bomb that was addressed to the White House was intercepted at Joint Base Bolling in Washington, DC. The Secret Service, however, later said it had only intercepted the two packages intended for Obama and Clinton and called reports of a package headed for the White House "incorrect."
A law enforcement source said the device found in the Time Warner Center's mailroom is similar to the ones addressed to Obama, Clinton and billionaire investor and major Democratic donor George Soros, which was discovered earlier this week.
Another law enforcement official told CNN that the initial examination of all of the devices shows them to be constructed similarly. At least one of the devices appeared to contain projectiles, including shards of glass. The devices are rudimentary but functional.
Earlier Wednesday morning, the United States Secret Service said it had intercepted two "suspicious packages" addressed to Obama and Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, earlier this week.
Neither Obama nor Clinton received the packages or were at risk of receiving them, the Secret Service said. They were discovered during "routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such," the agency said in a statement.
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The Soros package had the return address of Wasserman Schultz, a former party chairwoman, a law enforcement source and a federal source briefed on the investigation said Wednesday. There is no information that suggests she sent the package.
The bomb squad was investigating the package discovered at Wasserman Schultz's Florida office, a local police spokesman said. It was not immediately clear if the package contains a device similar to the others detected around the country.
"There is a strong suspicion" the two packages intended for Obama and Clinton are connected to the package targeting Soros, another law enforcement source said.
The package intended for Obama was intercepted in Washington, DC, and the one intended for Clinton was addressed to her in Westchester County, New York, on Tuesday.
The FBI said the package intended for Clinton was found in the vicinity of her residence in Chappaqua, New York, but offered no additional comment, citing the ongoing investigation. Representatives for the Clintons referred press inquiries to the Secret Service, and a spokeswoman for Obama did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The White House said it condemned the "attempted violent attacks."
"We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. "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 has been briefed on the situation and is receiving "constant updates," Sanders said. Responding to a tweet from Vice President Mike Pence, who said the administration condemned the "despicable" actions, Trump said, "I agree wholeheartedly!"
The device sent to Time Warner Center was constructed with a pipe and wires, according to a New York Police Department source. Law enforcement authorities are treating the device as a real explosive.
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The building's evacuation included offices for WarnerMedia and other Turner-owned properties like TNT, as well as a shopping mall and a Whole Foods grocery store located in the basement level.
The package was removed from the building late Wednesday morning and was sent to an NYPD facility in the Bronx, a law enforcement official said.
The NYPD increased patrols at media locations in the city and other potential areas, a spokesman for the department said. Officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are at the sites of the multiple packages and were at Soros' Bedford, New York, home on Tuesday, a spokeswoman said.
My view: Faceless monsters, they are cowards with evil intentions. "The nationalist" President Trump is the encouraging violence, he praised Republican politician who body-slammed a journalist: ... “Anybody that can do a body-slam,” “that's my kind of guy,” imagine that kind of violent language coming from, a con artist president, the rhetoric comes from the top.