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Potential explosive devices mailed to Clinton, CNN, Obama


The Secret Service said Wednesday it found two "potential explosive devices" in mail sent to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York and the home of former President Obama in Washington, D.C.

The devices were "immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures" and "were appropriately handled as such," the Secret Service said in a statement. Obama and Clinton "did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them," according to the agency.

Separately, the Time Warner building in New York City was evacuated after reports of a suspicious package to CNN. The package with an explosive device sent to CNN’s New York offices was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, according to city and local law enforcement officials.

"We are working with authorities to determine the severity of the situation," CNN president Jeff Zucker said in a memo to staff after his network's anchors had to leave their studio to broadcast from the streets outside their building after an alarm went off on air.

"We are also checking all bureaus around the world, out of a complete abundance of caution," Zucker said.

A fourth suspicious package was addressed to former Attorney General Eric Holder, according to CNN. It was discovered after it was sent to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), whose address was used as a return address. Schultz's office in Sunrise, Fla., was evacuated when the package was discovered.


Two other suspicious packages were reported later in the day.

A Democratic aide said that a suspicious package addressed to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) had been intercepted at a Congressional mail facility. And New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said an explosive device was also sent to his office in Manhattan.

"A device has been sent to my office in Manhattan, which we were just informed about, and that device is also being handled,” Cuomo said at a press conference that included New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Police Department commissioner James P. O'Neill.

Later reports from the Associated Press and other sources, however, said that the package sent to Cuomo was not a bomb and was unrelated to the other packages.

The threatening packages come weeks before the midterm elections and at a time of historic political polarization in the United States, with each major political party blaming the other for riling up supporters to the point of rage.

All of the packages appear to have been addressed to people who President Trump frequently criticizes.

The packages sent to the Clintons, Obamas and CNN appeared to have similarities, according to authorities, who seemed to be investigating whether they were sent by the same person.


The Secret Service said one package intercepted late Tuesday was addressed to Hillary Clinton, who was President Trump's Democratic opponent in the 2016 presidential election. The package addressed to Obama was found early Wednesday morning.

The statement said the agency "has initiated a full scope criminal investigation that will leverage all available federal, state, and local resources to determine the source of the packages and identify those responsible."

The FBI said it activated its Joint Terrorism Task Force to assist with the investigation, but declined to comment further.

The White House condemned the attempted bombings and pledged that federal law enforcement "will take all appropriate actions to protect anyone threatened by these cowards."

“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," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
President Trump echoed Vice President Mike Pence's view that the attempted attacks were "despicable."

"I agree wholeheartedly!" Trump wrote.

Multiple media reports said a homemade bomb was sent to the home of Bill and Hillary Clinton in Chappaqua, N.Y., and is similar to an explosive device found earlier this week at the home of billionaire philanthropist George Soros.

Soros, who lives in nearby Bedford, N.Y., has long been a target of right-wing figures for his funding of liberal activist groups.

Law enforcement agencies have not named a suspect in the attempted bombings, nor have they spoken about a potential motive.

Soros has long been at the center of conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic attacks. Recently, some on the right have accused him, without evidence, of funding a caravan of Central American migrants traveling through Mexico toward the U.S. border.

Trump has seized on the caravan in tweets and fiery campaign stump speeches in the lead-up to the November midterm elections.

"Every time you see a Caravan, or people illegally coming, or attempting to come, into our Country illegally, think of and blame the Democrats for not giving us the votes to change our pathetic Immigration Laws! Remember the Midterms! So unfair to those who come in legally," he tweeted on Monday.

Obama's office declined to comment.

Hillary Clinton is in Florida on Wednesday attending a political event, according to a spokesperson.

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