On Wednesday, less than two weeks before the midterm U.S. elections, law enforcement has confirmed connections between explosive devices sent to Former CIA Director John Brennan at the New York headquarters of CNN and the nations top Democrats, including President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Rep. Maxine Waters and former Attorney General Eric Holder. Officials also believe Wednesday’s terror attacks are linked to the pipe bomb sent to the residence of billionaire and Democratic supporter George Soros.
CGTN’s Jessica Stone reports.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.
In a statement, CNN head Jeffrey Zucker called out the Trump administration for its inflammatory rhetoric against journalists, saying, “There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media. The President, and especially the WH Press Secretary, should understand their words matter.”
On CNN, Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake told host Chris Cuomo that if President Donald Trump “were to take a more civil tone, it would make a difference,” adding that he “hopes that he does.”
In brief remarks before a White House event concerning the opioid crisis, President Trump states political violence has “no place” in the country and that his administration “will spare no resources” in finding those responsible for the recent wave of mail bomb attacks against top Democrats.
Multiple sources report a suspicious package addressed to Democratic Rep Maxine Waters was intercepted at a congressional mail facility in Capitol Heights, MD.
CNN reports “the package sent to the Time Warner Center was delivered by courier, ” and “It was addressed to John Brennan, the former CIA director, and Time Warner.”
At a press conference, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says his Manhattan office also received a suspicious device. (@AP)
At the same conference, New York City Mayor Bill Di Blasio referred to the wave of mail attacks as ‘terrorism’.
FBI Special Agent confirms the bomb sent to CNN headquarters in NYC was ‘live’ and that white powder was also present in the package.
New York intelligence chief says package sent to CNN appears connected to those sent to Obama, Clinton, Soros.
In Florida, Hillary Clinton responds to the wave of explosive devices being sent to herself and other top Democratic leaders.
.@HillaryClinton in Mobile, AL: "We are fine. Every day we are grateful for their service and commitment; obviously; and never more than today, but it is a troubling time isn't it?" responding to the delivery of a suspicious package to her NY home @cgtnamerica @CGTNOfficial
— Jessica Stone (@JessicaStoneTV) October 24, 2018
FBI confirms suspicious package found at office of Democrat U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Florida. The package was reportedly addressed to frmr Obama Attorney General Eric Holder.
The pipe bomb that was sent to billionaire Democratic donor George Soros on Monday had a reported return address for Wasserman Schultz.
U.S. President Trump tweeted a brief endorsement of Vice President Pence’s previous tweet condemning the wave of mail attacks against top Democrats.
I agree wholeheartedly! https://t.co/ndzu0A30vU
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2018
The U.S. Secret Service has intercepted a bomb that was addressed to Hillary Clinton and also discovered a possible explosive that was sent to former President Barack Obama.
CLARIFICATION: At this time the Secret Service has intercepted TWO suspicious packages – one in NY and one in D.C. Reports of a third intercepted package addressed to the WH are incorrect. We refer media to our statement: https://t.co/lJdTn04KmI
— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) October 24, 2018
In a statement, the Secret Service said, “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 Secret Service also clarified that previous reports of a suspicious package found at the White House was false.
Also Wednesday, a police bomb squad was sent to CNN’s offices in New York City and the newsroom was evacuated because of a suspicious package, believed now to be a pipe bomb.
Officials said the CNN bomb was crude but operational and was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, a CNN contributor.
CNN tweeted video of their anchors reacting on the air as emergency alarms went off in the building:
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
A U.S. official told The Associated Press that investigators believe the explosive that was discovered near the Clintons’ home in Chappaqua, New York, is linked to one found Monday at the compound of liberal billionaire George Soros.
An official said one of the packages had the return address of Rep. Deborah Wasserman Schultz, an ironic reference to the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.
The White House condemned “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,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that that referred to the senders as “these cowards.”
In a tweet, Vice President Mike Pence condemned the attacks:
We condemn the attempted attacks against fmr Pres Obama, the Clintons, @CNN & others. These cowardly actions are despicable & have no place in this Country. Grateful for swift response of @SecretService, @FBI & local law enforcement. Those responsible will be brought to justice.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) October 24, 2018
Hillary Clinton was attending campaign events for Democrats in Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday and was not at the family’s New York residence at the time. She is headlining a fundraising reception on Wednesday for former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, who is running for Congress in South Florida.
Bill Clinton was at the family’s Chappaqua home at the time the package was intercepted at a Westchester County facility, said a person familiar with his schedule. The person said the device was screened at the facility — not in proximity to their residence — and never reached the Clintons’ home.
A law enforcement official told the AP that the package discovered at Soros’ home appeared to be a pipe bomb and was in a package placed in a mailbox outside the gates of the compound. A Soros employee opened it just inside the gates, not near Soros’ quarters, the official said.
This story includes reporting from The Associated Press.