The United States Secret Service said on Wednesday that it had intercepted a pair of suspicious packages addressed to former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
A third suspicious package found in the mailroom of Time Warner Center in New York City forced the evacuation of the building, which houses CNN’s New York bureau.
The package addressed to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, N.Y., was recovered late Tuesday, the Secret Service said in a statement to Yahoo News. A second package addressed to Obama was intercepted by Secret Service personnel in Washington, D.C., early Wednesday. The Secret Service screens all mail addressed to its protectees; the Clintons and Obamas have had Secret Service detail since serving in the White House.
“The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such,” the statement read. “The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them.”
Hillary Clinton, who is in Florida campaigning for Democratic congressional candidate Donna Shalala, was not home at the time.
“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,” Clinton said before a rally for Shalala on Wednesday. “Every day we are grateful for their service and commitment and obviously never more than today.”
The Secret Service said it has “initiated a full scope criminal investigation” to “determine the source of the packages and identify those responsible.”
The discovery of the three packages comes just two days after a pipe bomb was found in the Bedford, N.Y., mailbox of billionaire philanthropist George Soros. Soros, like the Clintons, lives in Westchester County. According to the New York Times, the device sent to the Clintons was similar to the one sent to Soros, a liberal donor who has long been the target of conservative conspiracies.
Officials told ABC News that the devices found in packages addressed to Soros, Clinton and Obama “appear to be of similar pipe bomb style construction.”
NBC News reported that the return address on the suspicious packages sent to Soros, Clinton and belonged to Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla., a former Democratic National Committee official. Wasserman-Schultz’s offices in Sunrise, Fla., were evacuated Wednesday after a suspicious package was found mailed there, local police said.
Earlier Wednesday, a spokesman for New Castle Police Department said its officers assisted Secret Service and the FBI’s New York field office after the package was found near the Clintons’ home.
In a statement, the FBI said its Joint Terrorism Task Force was “engaged with our federal, state and local partners” in the investigation.
“We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “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.”
Vice President Mike Pence condemned the “attempted attacks” in a tweet. President Trump retweeted Pence, adding: “I agree wholeheartedly!”
Shortly after 10 a.m. ET, Time Warner Center was evacuated after a suspicious package was discovered in the mailroom. An alarm in the building went off as CNN hosts Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto were live on the air.
They continued reporting from their cell phones after they were evacuated.