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Two days after an explosive device was discovered at the Westchester home of billionaire philanthropist George Soros, the Secret Service on Wednesday confirmed that two potential explosives were sent to former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In the span of a few chaotic hours, suspicious packages were also confirmed sent to former Attorney General Eric Holder, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and CNN.
With details surrounding the two suspicious packages addressed to Obama and Clinton still fresh, CNN employees in New York were ordered to evacuate as law enforcement officials responded to an explosive device detected in the building. That package, which law enforcement officials later confirmed also contained white powder, was addressed to John Brennan, the former CIA director who has appeared regularly on cable news programs to offer sharp rebukes of President Donald Trump.
This is a photograph of the suspicious package sent to the CNN building in New York City earlier this morning. Police say it appeared to be a live explosive device. https://t.co/aG9JsTfwhx pic.twitter.com/tcICHJErda
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) October 24, 2018
Responding to the device sent to the CNN offices, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed on-air that a suspicious device had also been sent to his New York City office.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he was just informed a suspicious device was also sent to his office in Manhattan and “is being handled as we speak,” adding “we wouldn’t be surprised if additional devices are sent” #tictocnews pic.twitter.com/C7tz2uhg7R
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) October 24, 2018
Several key commonalities have been widely reported, including the detail that the return address used on some of the packages belonged to Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee. Schultz’s Florida offices were also evacuated Wednesday morning after a suspicious package was found—but it appears as though its arrival was a potential accident and that the package was intended for former Attorney General Eric Holder.
Some, if not all, of the packages, were also reportedly delivered in manila envelopes.
Perhaps the clearest pattern that has emerged, however, is the apparent targeting of prominent Democrats and a media organization, two groups that have been vilified by right-wing groups and the president, particularly as the midterm elections approach. In recent days, Trump has ratcheted up the rhetoric by publicly praising the Montana Republican who body-slammed a reporter, in addition to repeatedly and baselessly accusing Democrats of funding the so-called “caravan” of migrants attempting to enter the United States. Last month, he falsely accused Soros of bankrolling the sexual assault survivors protesting Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.
The motive behind the attempted bombings, however, is unclear at this time.
So far, the suspicious packages have elicited a muted response from Trump, who retweeted a condemnation by Vice President Mike Pence to say he “wholeheartedly” agreed. The White House also released a short statement condemning the acts.
I agree wholeheartedly! https://t.co/ndzu0A30vU
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2018
This post will be updated as more information is confirmed.