How the U.S. Secret Service foiled terrorist attacks on Hillary Clinton, Obama and CNN

 

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The U.S. Secret Service said Wednesday suspicious packages with what appeared to be live explosive devices were sent to addresses of former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and CNN.

The agency said said it recovered a package addressed to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at her home with former President Bill Clinton in Westchester County, N.Y.

“We are fine, thanks to the men and women of the Secret Service who intercepted the package addressed to us long before it made its way to our home,” Hillary Clinton said at an event Wednesday in Miami.

A package addressed to Obama was intercepted in Washington, D.C., where the former president lives.

“The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such,” the Secret Service said. “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.”

A suspicious device also was found addressed to CNN in the mail room at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan where the news network has offices. Law enforcement evacuated the building.

The cable network said the package also may have included a white powder-like substance.

“What we saw here today was an effort to terrorize,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference early Wednesday afternoon. “This was clearly an act of terror.”

President Donald Trump, speaking from the White House during an event on the opioid crisis, said the packages and threats of violence are “abhorrent to everything we hold dear and sacred.”

“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,” he said.

Trump said he attended a briefing on the federal investigation into the packages with the FBI, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service.

“The full weight of our government is being deployed to bring those responsible for these despicable acts to justice,” he said. “We will spare no resources or expense.”

In Sunrise, Fla., police told WTVJ-TV they were investigating a suspicious package that arrived at the congressional office of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) on Wednesday morning.

A Broward Sheriff’s Office bomb squad unit and firefighters responded to the building.

The devices, which appeared to be working explosives, were enclosed in a manila envelope with a return address to Wasserman Schultz. The package had stamps and signatures on them, as well.

CNN reported that the package found at Wasserman Schultz’s office was addressed to former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, but it was returned to her office because it had the incorrect address. Authorities said the same return address was used for the suspicious packages sent to the Clintons and Obama.

Wasserman Schultz is the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee who resigned from her post in 2016 after Wikileaks published leaked emails from the committee.

On Monday, an explosive device was found in the New York mailbox of George Soros, a billionaire philanthropist. His home is 9 miles away from the Clintons’ home.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement, “We condemn 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. 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,” she said.

Trump retweeted a statement from Vice President Mike Pence condemning the attacks.

“We condemn the attempted attacks against former 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,” Pence said on Twitter.

Speaking before her husband at the White House event Wednesday afternoon, first lady Melania Trump said she was grateful for the efforts of law enforcement officials.

“We cannot tolerate those cowardly attacks and I strongly condemn all who choose violence,” she said.