Secret Service intercepts 2 ‘suspicious packages’ addressed to Obama, Clinton

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, New York — Authorities have intercepted devices intended for former President Barack Obama and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Also, CNN’s New York bureau in the Time Warner Center was evacuated after a suspicious package was discovered in the building.

CNN, citing a law enforcement official, was initially told a suspicious package containing a pipe bomb that was addressed to the White House was intercepted at Joint Base Bolling in Washington, DC. The Secret Service, however, later said it had only intercepted the two packages intended for Obama and Clinton and called reports of a package headed for the White House “incorrect.”

The law enforcement official said the devices intended for Obama and Clinton appear to be rudimentary but functional and similar to the ones sent to the home of billionaire investor and major Democratic donor George Soros, which was discovered earlier this week.

Also on Wednesday morning, the New York Police Department responded to a suspicious device discovered in the Time Warner Center in New York City, where CNN has a bureau. It was not immediately clear who the package was addressed to, but CNN evacuated its newsroom as a precaution.

Earlier Wednesday morning, the United States Secret Service said it had intercepted two “suspicious packages” addressed to Obama and Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, earlier this week.

Neither Obama nor Clinton received the packages or were at risk of receiving them, the Secret Service said. They were discovered during “routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such,” the agency said in a statement.

‘Strong suspicion’ of link

“There is a strong suspicion” the two packages intended for Obama and Clinton are connected to the package targeting Soros, another law enforcement source said.

The package intended for Obama was intercepted in Washington, DC, and the one intended for Clinton was addressed to her in Westchester County, New York, on Tuesday.

The FBI said the package intended for Clinton was found in the vicinity of her residence in Chappaqua, New York, but offered no additional comment, citing the ongoing investigation. Representatives for the Clintons referred press inquiries to the Secret Service, and a spokeswoman for Obama did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The White House said it condemned the “attempted violent attacks.”

“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.”

New York device investigated

The device sent to Time Warner Center was constructed with a pipe and wires, according to an NYPD source. Law enforcement authorities are treating the device as a real explosive.

The device was discovered in the building’s mailroom, the source said.

The building’s evacuation included offices for WarnerMedia and other Turner-owned properties like TNT, as well as a shopping mall and a Whole Foods grocery store located in the basement level.