Officials confirmed Thursday that a letter addressed to President Obama “similar” to the poison-laced letters sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg was intercepted by a White House mail facility Wednesday.
“US Secret Service can confirm that the White House mail screening facility intercepted a letter addressed to the White House that was similar to letters previously addressed to Mayor Bloomberg in New York,” U.S. Secret Service Spokesperson Brian Leary wrote in a statement Thursday. ”This letter has been turned over to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force for testing and investigation.”
Because the letter was intercepted at an outside facility, the president was never in any danger.
On the same day that the White House mail facility intercepted the letter, the New York Police Department said that threatening letters had been anonymously sent to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Those letters included references to Bloomberg’s support for gun control legislation, and contained ricin, according to initial testing disclosed on Wednesday.
Another poison letter was sent to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Bloomberg’s pro-gun control advocacy group.
Ricin, a toxic substance derived from castor beans, can be fatal if ingested or inhaled in sufficient quantities.
According to reporting from WNBC’s Jonathan Dienst and Shimon Prokupecz, all three mailings—those sent to Bloomberg, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and Obama— included the language: “You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. Anyone wants to come to my house will get shot in the face. The right to bear arms is my constitutional God given right and I will exercise that right till the day I die.”
The White House has not commented on the letter sent to the president, referring all questions to the Secret Service.