Suspicious packages, believed to contain explosive devices, were intercepted at the homes of Barack Obama and the Clintons, and the New York office of CNN.
UPDATE 8:12 A.M. PT: A previous iteration of this story stated that a suspicious package was intercepted at the White House, that was incorrect according to the Secret Service. We will keep you posted if anything changes.
Suspicious packages, believed to contain explosive devices, were intercepted at the homes of Barack Obama, and Bill and Hillary Clinton early Wednesday morning.
A device was discovered around 1 a.m. on Wednesday by a technician screening mail for the Clintons in Westchester County. Another suspicious package was also intercepted by Secret Service in Washington D.C. addressed to former President Barack Obama.
Soon after these threats were made public, the New York office of CNN was evacuated due to the discovery of a suspicious package. On Monday of this week, a similar device was found at the home of billionaire philanthropist and prominent democrat George Soros..
Time Warner Center – where CNN's New York offices are located – was just evacuated. The alarm went off as @jimsciutto and @PoppyHarlowCNN were on air reporting the packages sent to the Clintons and Obamas. @ShimonPro reporting it was over "a suspicious package." pic.twitter.com/EYBsytil0o— 💀andrew👻kaczynski🎃 (@KFILE) October 24, 2018
Read the Secret Service's official statement regarding the threats to Obama and the Clintons below.
The U.S. Secret Service has intercepted two suspicious packages addressed to Secret Service protectees.
Late on October 23, 2018, the Secret Service recovered a single package addressed to Former First Lady Hillary Clinton in Westchester County, New York. Early this morning, October 24, 2018, a second package addressed to the residence of Former President Barack Obama was intercepted by Secret Service personnel in Washington, DC.
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 Secret Service 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.
President Donald Trump took hours to issue any kind of statement after authorities intercepted the suspicious packages. He simply retweeted a statement from Vice President Mike Pence, and added "I agree wholeheartedly."
I agree wholeheartedly! https://t.co/ndzu0A30vU— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2018
Hours later, he and First Lady Melania Trump addressed the terrifying ordeal in more depth during a White House press conference, which aired on CNN.
Before introducing her husband, Melania told reporters, "I want to take a moment to talk about today's news and the attempted attacks on President Clinton, President Obama, their families, public officials, individuals and organizations. We cannot tolerate those cowardly attacks, and I strongly condemn all that choose violence. I'm grateful to the Secret Service as well as the local and federal law enforcement for all they do on a daily basis to keep us safe and encourage people across the country to choose kindness over hatred."
"I want to welcome you all to the White House to reflect on the progress this administration has made in tackling the opioid crisis, and more importantly, to look ahead at the work still to be done," she added. "We are here to talk about the continued actions we are taking to combat the opioid epidemic which my husband will talk about in a few minutes."
Then Trump took the podium.
"I'd like to begin today's remarks by proving an update on the suspicious packages and devices mailed to current and former high-ranking government officials," he said. "The safety of the American people is my highest and absolute priority."
"I just concluded a briefing with the FBI, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Secret Service," he continued. "As we speak, the packages are being inspected by top explosive experts, and a major federal investigation is now underway. The full weight of our government is being deployed to conduct this investigation and bring those responsible for these despicable acts to justice. We will spare no resources or expense in this effort, and I just want to tell you that in these times, we have to unify, 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."
"That's a very bipartisan statement, I can tell you from both sides, we both agree on that," Trump said. "This egregious conduct is abhorrent to everything we hold dear and sacred as Americans. My administration will provide additional updates as they become available, and I just want to thank everybody for your understanding. We're extremely, angry, upset, unhappy about what we witnessed this morning, and we will get to the bottom of it."
Got a story or a tip for us? Email TooFab editors at email@example.com.