Devices that authorities have dubbed “potentially explosive” have been mailed or hand-delivered by a courier to numerous notable individuals and businesses, all of which have a reputation for being critical of President Donald Trump. Per The Guardian, the Secret Service is now investigating the connection between these crimes.
All of the devices in question have a similar appearance, and they also share the same return address: Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s office. Schultz is a Democrat, and authorities have ruled out any actual wrongdoing on her part. One of the packages was intended for Eric Holder, best known as President Obama’s attorney general, but the address was incorrect. This caused the device to be rerouted to Schultz’s office, thereby necessitating a full evacuation of the building.
The Hill reported that yet another suspicious package was addressed to California Rep. Maxine Waters, but Capitol Hill police intervened before it could leave a mail facility in Maryland. Other suspicious packages that have turned out to be copycat hoaxes or completely unrelated were sent to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the San Diego Union-Tribune, and Senator Kamala Harris.
The package sent to CNN also contained white powder. This powder is currently being tested to determine its identity. Although CNN received the pipe bomb and white powder, the envelope was actually addressed to former CIA director John Brennan. There is no connection between Brennan and the network, so it’s unclear why the package was addressed in this way. CNN was able to post a photo of the pipe bomb on Twitter.
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
Bill de Blasio, New York City’s mayor, called the packages “an act of terror.” President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have both publicly condemned these actions. This comes less than a week after Trump told supporters at a Montana rally that he approved of Rep. Greg Gianforte’s decision to body-slam a reporter.
Per Mother Jones, Trump said, “Anybody that can do a body-slam, he’s my kind of kind. He’s my guy.” Trump has also frequently criticized the media, referring to any negative reports about him or his administration as “fake news.”
President Trump praising Rep. Greg Gianforte for body slamming a reporter, a crime for which Gianforte pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault. pic.twitter.com/DS1z3YBE0C
— Axios (@axios) October 19, 2018
George Soros was the first intended target of a mail bomb. Trump, Rep. Matt Gaetz, and Kelly Johnston, the Vice President of the Campbell’s Soup Company’s government affairs, have helped fan the flames of persistent conspiracy theories involving Soros. According to the Washington Post, recent false accusations against Soros include Trump’s claim that the billionaire paid people to pose as protestors during Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. Gaetz and Johnston also accused Soros of “funding a migrant caravan.”
CNN stated on air that the Secret Service has dismissed initial reports about a bomb being discovered on its way to the White House, calling it nothing more than “a rumor.” No one has been injured so far by these mail bomb attempts, although a retired FBI bomb technician cautioned CNN that “these type of devices, if they go off, can wreak a lot of havoc.”