US President Donald Trump on Wednesday condemned the suspicious packages mailed to several US leaders including former President Barack Obama and called for unity as the matter is being investigated even as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Thursday confirmed two additional suspicious packages, both addressed to US Representative Maxine Waters.
Addressing an event at the White House, Trump said as quoted by ANI, “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.”
Asserting that the safety of US citizens is his “highest and absolute priority”, the US President added that “the full weight of our government” is looking into the matter and will “bring those responsible for these despicable acts to justice.”
Packages containing suspicious devices were mailed to several leaders including former President Barack Obama and former First lady Hillary Clinton. One of the packages was also found at the Time Warner Center, outside CNN office. A suspicious package was also sent to the White House, however, was intercepted at an off-site facility.
The bombs sent to prominent Democrats and CNN were packed with shards of glass, reported The Associated Press, quoting a law enforcement official.
The Secret Service said neither Obama nor Clinton received the packages or were at risk of receiving them. The packages were discovered during “routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such,” the agency said in a statement.
“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 statement said. Officials “proactively detonated” the device, and determined that it contained explosive powder and “had the components of a bomb,” it said.
According to reports, investigators with the FBI, Secret Service and New Castle police department discovered the package around 1 am (local time). The New York Times reported that the first device was discovered by a technician who screens the mail sent to the Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, New York. The incident comes two days after a bomb was planted in the mailbox at billionaire investor and major Democratic donor George Soros’ Bedford home.
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. The Clintons have lived in Chappaqua, about 48 km north of New York City, since former President Clinton left office in 2001. 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.