It turns out that the potentially dangerous device received by the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo early Wednesday, October 24, was not an explosive, but a thumb drive bearing documentation on the right-wing Proud Boys group that the governor recently blamed President Trump for inciting violence out of.
The New York Daily News reports that Senior Deputy Communications Director for the governor, Rich Azzopardi, took to Twitter to confirm the development after Gov. Cuomo announced that he too had apparently been the target of a suspected serial bomber.
The governor had made the claim amid growing hysteria over reports of authorities intercepting suspicious packages headed to the homes of former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Prior to his statement to the media, additional reports would come out to reveal that ex-Attorney General Eric Holder and CIA Director John Brennan too had been targeted — in incidents that led to the evacuations of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Florida office and CNN’s New York bureau, respectively.
“As you have heard, there is a number of devices and there is a pattern apparently to the number of devices. We wouldn’t be at all surprised if more devices show up. A device has been sent to my office in Manhattan, which we were just informed about,” the New York Post quotes Cuomo as having told reporters at a press conference outside of CNN’s Columbus Circle headquarters midday Wednesday.
Spokesperson Azzopardi would later follow up the New York Police Department’s findings that the package sent to Gov. Cuomo was “unrelated” and enveloped “no device of any kind” by clarifying that a recovered device actually happened to comprise information on nationalist firebrand Gavin McInnes’ organization.
“A preliminary investigation on the package at @NYGovCuomo’s office shows it is computer files on the hate group, The Proud Boys, who recently appeared in New York,” Azzopardi would tweet.
A preliminary investigation on the package at @NYGovCuomo's office shows it is computer files on the hate group, The Proud Boys, who recently appeared in New York.
— Rich Azzopardi (@RichAzzopardi) October 24, 2018
The Proud Boys have been under intense scrutiny since video of its members beating up a couple of anti-fascist protesters in Manhattan surfaced earlier this month. The incident in question would eventually lead to several arrests and eight being charged in connection with the brawl. What’s more, it shined a light on the potential dangers of McInnes and his group’s willingness to engage in violence.
Within days of the melee making news, Gov. Cuomo went public to place blame squarely on the Metropolitan Republican Club for diving so low as to invite a fringe personality like McInnes to speak in the first place. As the Inquisitr would report, he’d also wind up causing a stir by drawing a connection between political violence of the sort and Donald Trump’s rhetoric.
“This is Trump at his worst. It is wholly consistent with everything he has done since he started running for president,” said Cuomo.