- Authorities have safely removed what they said was a “live explosive device” mailed to CNN’s New York office on Wednesday that forced the network to evacuate its employees.
- New York Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill said an envelope containing white powder was found with the device.
- Two CNN reporters said the package was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, who served in the Obama administration.
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned the incident as an “act of terror.”
- The Secret Service said on Wednesday that explosive devices were also sent to the home of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and to the home of former President Barack Obama.
A bomb squad safely removed what authorities called a “live explosive device” mailed to CNN’s office in New York on Wednesday that prompted the network to evacuate its employees.
New York Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill told reporters at a news conference that the department’s bomb squad secured the device and removed it for investigation, and that an envelope containing white powder was found alongside it.
The CNN reporters Jim Sciutto and Jake Tapper tweeted that the package was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, who frequently appears on the network and has been critical of President Donald Trump. The network tweeted a picture of the device.
This is the suspicious package received this morning at the Time Warner Center, which houses the CNN New York bureau.
— CNN (@CNN) October 24, 2018
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned the incident as “an effort to terrorize” and praised CNN employees for their professionalism in handling the situation.
“This clearly was an act of terror attempting to undermine our free press and leaders of this country through acts of violence,” he said, adding, “We are going to go about our lives undeterred, because the very concept of terrorism is to change us, and we will not allow that to happen.”
De Blasio added that there were no other credible, specific threats to New Yorkers and that residents should go about their daily routines.
CNN had been broadcasting live Wednesday morning when a fire alarm went off in the Time Warner Center in midtown Manhattan.
Footage showed Sciutto and Poppy Harlow explaining that the alarm had gone off, while employees could be seen leaving the studio. The network cut to commercial.
— Ellie Hall (@ellievhall) October 24, 2018
CNN reporters tweeted photos showing a heavy police response at the scene, and people in the area received emergency alerts on their smartphones telling them to shelter in place.
Everyone at CNN NY being evacuated. Swarms of NYPD outside — I wasn’t allowed to grab a coat or any of my belongings — told to immediately go to staircase pic.twitter.com/rtcAoKS6y9
— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) October 24, 2018
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) October 24, 2018
This just went out via emergency alert system pic.twitter.com/Ev91BsKGE5
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 24, 2018
CNN’s president, Jeff Zucker, told employees in a statement that the package was received in the building’s mail room and that he was “working with authorities to determine the severity of the situation.”
He added that the network was checking all of its bureaus around the world “out of a complete abundance of caution.”
‘A total and complete lack of understanding at the White House’
The incident came amid reports that the Secret Service had intercepted explosive devices mailed to the residences of Bill and Hillary Clinton in Chappaqua, New York, and former President Barack Obama in Washington, DC.
“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,” the Secret Service said in a statement.
Several more were found across the country, including at the offices of Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee, and California Rep. Maxine Waters.
On Monday, an explosive device was found at the home of the billionaire Democratic donor George Soros in Bedford, New York.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday condemned the incidents, vowing a full investigation and urging unity.
“I just want to tell you that in these times, we have to unify,” he said. “We have to come together and send one clear, and strong message that acts of threats or political violence have no place in the United States of America.”
But Zucker appeared to find the remarks insufficient – he said in a statement Wednesday afternoon that Trump and the rest of his administration needed to better understand the consequences of their frequent attacks on CNN and other media.
“There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media,” Zucker said. “The President, and especially the White House Press Secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that.”
Read Business Insider’s full coverage of the suspicious packages:
- Explosive devices sent in the mail to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama
- White House and Donald Trump Jr. condemn explosive devices sent to Obamas, Clintons
- Hillary Clinton addresses attempted attack, says ‘as an American I am worried’
- The suspicious package sent to CNN’s New York office was reportedly addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan
- Explosive device found in mailbox near billionaire George Soros’ home
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