UPDATE: The package with an explosive device that forced an evacuation from CNN headquarters in New York was addressed specifically to former CIA Director John Brennan, who served in the administration of former President Barack Obama.
The device that was discovered in a suspicious package at the network was similar to those devices found at the homes of Hillary and Bill Clinton on Wednesday and billionaire philanthropist George Soros earlier in the week. The device is also similar to one that was in a package en route to Obama, according to reporting from CNN.
Brennan, a regular contributor to programs on the network (as well as a frequent critic of President Donald Trump), had his security clearances revoked by the president earlier this summer.
This is an update to an earlier report regarding a suspicious package being delivered to CNN. That original report is available below.
As it was wrapping up an on-air interview discussing a series of unidentified and potentially dangerous packages being sent around the country, CNN itself had to cut to commercial as its fire alarm went off in the middle of production.
Morning hosts Jim Sciutto and Poppy Harlow alerted viewers to their program that they were leaving the set to join their fellow workers in exiting the building.
Sciutto said to viewers that there was “a fire alarm here, you may have heard it in the background, we’re going to find out what the latest is here at CNN, we’ll be right back,” according to a tweet from Mark Arum of Atlanta’s WSBTV.
While the on-air personalities speaking at the moment said that the reason for their departure was a fire alarm, other reports suggested that the building was evacuated for a similar unidentified package being sent to the network. “CNN says its offices in New York have been evacuated because of a suspicious package,” White House reporter Zeke Miller tweeted out on Wednesday morning.
Time Warner Center – where CNN's New York offices are located – was just evacuated. The alarm went off as @jimsciutto and @PoppyHarlowCNN were on air reporting the packages sent to the Clintons and Obamas. @ShimonPro reporting it was over "a suspicious package." pic.twitter.com/EYBsytil0o— ????andrew????kaczynski???? (@KFILE) October 24, 2018
CNN itself issued a statement shortly after everyone left the building. “The NYPD is responding to a suspicious device discovered at the Time Warner Center, where CNN is based, in New York, according to a law enforcement source,” the company said in a tweet. “The CNN bureau has evacuated as a precaution.”
Breaking news reporter for CNN Brian Ries also tweeted out that the threat at CNN seemed legitimate. “The device sent to Time Warner’s mailroom is being treated as real explosive, is constructed with a pipe and wires, sources tell CNN,” Ries tweeted.
A series of suspicious packages have been intercepted across the country this week, including at least three other locations this morning alone, reported CNN.
A package was found at the New York state home of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, and a package en route to former President Barack Obama was also discovered in Washington D.C. Previous reports also indicated that the White House also received a similar package, but those reports were later reubuted by the Secret Service.
CLARIFICATION: At this time the Secret Service has intercepted TWO suspicious packages - one in NY and one in D.C. Reports of a third intercepted package addressed to the WH are incorrect. We refer media to our statement: https://t.co/lJdTn04KmI— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) October 24, 2018
It isn’t clear at this time whether these packages or others like the explosive device mailed to billionaire George Soros earlier this week, are separate instances or related in nature. The Secret Service and the FBI are presently conducting investigations. The Secret Service added that neither the Clintons nor the Obamas were ever at risk of receiving the packages that were sent to them, as they were marked as suspicious before reaching their destinations.