Multiple Suspicious Packages Sent to Democrats, Journalists

In this frame from video, police work near CNN’s offices after they were evacuated because of a suspicious package on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo)

(CN) – Suspicious packages and devices, discovered Wednesday by federal and state law enforcement, were mailed to former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CNN’s offices in New York.

The package delivered to CNN caused the New York City Police Department to order a mass evacuation of the Time Warner Center in Midtown Manhattan.

A law enforcement official told the New York Times that the devices were similar to one found Monday at the home of George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist and liberal donor, though it is believed that device was placed in his mailbox, rather than sent through the U.S. Mail.

In Florida, meanwhile, the Broward Sheriff’s Office was using a bomb squad robot in the investigation of a suspicious package at the office of Rep. Deborah Wasserman Schultz, the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

Police were also investigating the suspicious package near Wasserman Schultz’s office on the Sawgrass Corporate Parkway in Sunrise, which is near Fort Lauderdale.

Authorities have said they have intercepted homemade explosives sent to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York on Tuesday and to the Washington, D.C. residence of former President Barack Obama early Wednesday morning.

According to the U.S. Secret Service, the packages were caught during routine screenings.

Following those discoveries, yet another device in a manila envelope was discovered at the Time Warner Center in New York City where CNN is headquartered.

CNN anchors Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto were reporting about the bomb deliveries when a fire alarm began blaring in the background of the television studio, forcing them to interrupt an interview and cut to a commercial break before being forced outside of the news building.

The package sent to CNN was addressed to former CIA director John Brennan, an MSNBC contributor, the crudely filled out return address on the label was that of Wasserman Schultz.

Other homemade devices were reportedly found at the Washington, D.C. offices of Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, former attorney general Eric Holder and at the offices of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

President Donald Trump, who encouraged violence against protesters at his campaign rallies in 2016 and last week joked about Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte body slamming a journalist, said Wednesday that “acts or threats of political violence have no place of any kind in the United States of America.”

Trump’s comments did little to mollify CNN President Jeff Zucker, who released a statement on Twitter that said “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 White House Press Secretary [Sarah Sanders], should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that,” Zucker added.

According to the Associated Press, the devices found in New York at the Clinton home were believed to be related to those found at the Soros home.

In a separate statement by the Secret Service, the organization said it had initiated a “full scope criminal investigation.”

“[It] will leverage all available federal, state and local resources to determine the source of the packages and identify those responsible,” the agency said.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, police responded to reports of a suspicious package at a shipping facility Wednesday afternoon. Multiple news organizations reported the package was addressed to U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat from the LA area who is also an outspoken critic of the Trump administration.

Police evacuated the facility while they tried to determine what was in the package and where it came from.

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