A suspicious package resembling a bomb was reportedly found in mail sent to the Chappaqua home of Hillary and Bill Clinton on Tuesday night. [UPDATES BELOW]
An additional potential explosive device addressed to former President Barack Obama was intercepted by Secret Service on Wednesday. The NYPD has also evacuated CNN's headquarters in Manhattan, and the adjacent Columbus Avenue mall, after a suspicious package was discovered in the mailroom.
In Westchester, Town of New Castle police lieutenant James Carol confirmed to WNYC that they assisted the FBI with an investigation into a suspicious package, but would not provide further details. Carol confirmed that there were no injuries reported.
An official told the Times that the explosive device was found by a technician who screens mail for the Clintons. According to NBC, a senior law enforcement source believes the package was similar to the pipe bomb found in the mailbox outside George Soros's home in Katonah, a hamlet of the wealthy town of Bedford, New York.
It's unclear if the two threats are related. Both homes are in Westchester County, and both the Clintons and George Soros have been the targets of widespread right-wing conspiracy theories.
No one was hurt in either instance. We'll update as more information becomes available.
Additional reporting by Mara Silvers
UPDATE 9:30 a.m.: On Wednesday morning, the Secret Service intercepted a second potential explosive device addressed to former President Barack Obama's home in Washington, DC. Both packages were intercepted before they arrived at their intended location, the agency said. A criminal investigation is underway. The full statement from the Secret Service is 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."
UPDATE 10:25 a.m.: The third explosive device of the day—a "pipe with wires hanging out of it"—was reportedly sent to CNN's New York bureau in Manhattan. According to journalists at the scene, the Columbus Circle office has been evacuated, and there are "police everywhere." We've reached out to the NYPD and will update once we hear back.
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
Breaking: CNN NY office evacuated. Police bomb squad is here. We’re told of explosive device received. @CNNnewsroom
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) October 24, 2018
CNN New York was just evacuated. Police everywhere pic.twitter.com/yZLB6Cep0i
— Eric Levenson (@ejleven) October 24, 2018
In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders condemned " the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures." She continued, "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."
UPDATE 11:00 a.m.: According to law enforcement sources who spoke with TMZ and CNN, the package sent to the CNN building was addressed to ex-CIA director John Brennan, who now works as an MSNBC security analyst. Brennan is an outspoken critic of President Trump, and had his security clearance revoked earlier this year in an apparent act of retaliation.
UPDATE 11:30 am: Police are investigating a suspicious package sent to the Florida office of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, NBC Miami reports. Wasserman Schultz and members of her staff have previously been the target of debunked conspiracy theories spread by right-wing media and President Trump.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Police Commissioner James O'Neill will host a media briefing at Columbus Circle at approximately 12:45PM, according to a spokesperson for the mayor. You can listen on WNYC.org.
UPDATE 12:00 pm: Multiple emergency alerts have been issued warning residents of W 58th Street between Columbus Avenue and Eighth Avenue to shelter in place, and police are urging New Yorkers to avoid the area.
"This is everyday life in New York City—you just got to deal with it," Marc Gonzalez, a concierge at a building on 57th Street, told WNYC's Gwynne Hogan. "I heard it happened at a few other places, so I wasn't too surprised it happened here."
Hogan adds that police on scene are currently placing the suspicious device on a bomb transporter truck, and that the mood is not frantic. "People are more just amused, live-streaming, taking pics, ogling," she said.
Police on scene saying the suspicious device is currently being placed into a bomb transporter truck in the building’s loading dock. You can see it in the background very tiny here before it went in. pic.twitter.com/A1eMj7A7cO
— Gwynne Hogan (@GwynneFitz) October 24, 2018
UPDATE 12:30 pm: Yet another suspicious package has been reported, this one outside the offices of the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper building. The building, which has since been evacuated, also includes an office belonging to Sen. Kamala Harris, according to Union-Tribune reporter Kate Morrissey.
— Kate Morrissey (@bgirledukate) October 24, 2018
In New York City, police say they have safely removed the suspicious device sent to CNN's headquarters in the Time Warner building. The order for residents on W. 58th Street to shelter in place has been lifted.
UPDATE 1:00 pm: Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed during a press conference on Wednesday that a suspicious device had been sent to his Manhattan office—contradicting initial denials from his spokesperson. "We are New York, and we are an international icon and for some we are an international target," the governor said. "There is a pattern to the devices. We wouldn't be at all surprised if more devices show up."
— Rich Azzopardi (@RichAzzopardi) October 24, 2018
A total of six potentially explosive devices were reportedly recovered across the country on Wednesday—in addition to the pipe bomb sent to George Soros's home earlier this week. According to Police Commissioner James O'Neill, an envelope containing white powder was also found alongside the bomb sent to the CNN newsroom on Wednesday. That powder is currently being investigated, police said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio added that additional NYPD officers would be deployed across the city outside "key media locations" and other strategic points. "We at this time do not have credible and specific threats against locations in New York City," the mayor added. "People in this city have shown time and time again that they refuse to be intimidated."
UPDATE: 2:15 p.m. A police official tells CNN reporter Sonia Moghe that the "suspicious package" Cuomo claimed was sent to his office was actually just an informational package containing literature. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the governor's office, Tyrone Stevens, maintains that a device was in fact sent to the office, but says it's unclear if it was incendiary like the others. We've reached out to the governor's office to try to clear things up, and we'll update once we hear back.
According to NYPD spokesperson J. Peter Donald, "The earlier suspicious package at Governor Cuomo’s office in midtown has been cleared by NYPD personnel. It was unrelated. And there was no device of any kind."
UPDATE: 2:30 p.m. A Cuomo spokesperson now says that the suspicious package previously thought to be an explosive device is actually just some "computer files" related to the Proud Boys. The NYPD has clarified that the object was "a thumb drive and is NOT related to other events."
A preliminary investigation on the package at @NYGovCuomo's office shows it is computer files on the hate group, The Proud Boys, who recently appeared in New York.
— Rich Azzopardi (@RichAzzopardi) October 24, 2018
The sequence of events:
1. Cuomo’s office denied reports it had received a suspicious package.
2. Cuomo announced on air that his office had received a “device.”
3. NYPD said the package in question was simply literature.
— erica orden (@eorden) October 24, 2018
President Trump addressed the string of attempted bombings during an unrelated press conference on Wednesday. "We’re extremely angry, upset, unhappy about what we witnessed this morning, and we will get to the bottom of it," the president said. "Threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United State of America."
Minutes prior to that press conference, a congressional mail screening facility intercepted a suspicious package reportedly intended for Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat representing California. As with each of the other targets, President Trump has frequently sparred with the congresswoman, once warning her to "be careful what you wish for" in response to Waters urging Americans to push back against the administration's policies.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2018
UPDATE: 4:00 p.m. The Time Warner Center has reopened, and employees have returned to work. The building, which includes CNN's offices as well as a shopping center with a Whole Foods and H&M, was evacuated earlier this morning after authorities found a pipe bomb and white powder in the CNN mailroom.
Law enforcement officials say the package was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan—a frequent CNN guest and Trump critic—and listed the Florida office of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as a return address. The same return address was included on devices intended for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, George Soros, and Eric Holder, police said. You can see a photo of the bomb below:
PHOTO: CBS News has obtained a photo showing the explosive device sent to former CIA Director John Brennan at the CNN bureau in New York. The package has Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Florida office as the return address. https://t.co/e2hhbMxlJc pic.twitter.com/KPXvtz5IR7
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 24, 2018
Following a security sweep of the building, CNN President Jeff Zucker released a statement blasting the "total and complete lack of understanding at the White House" regarding President Trump's ongoing attacks against the media. "The President, and especially the White House Press Secretary, should understand their words matter," Zucker said. "Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that."