President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wave to the crowd at the Democratic National Convention, July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Penn.
Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty

Suspicious packages sent to Obama, Clintons, CNN


UPDATE: This is a developing story. Follow reporting by NBC News for the latest.

Earlier this week, an explosive device was found in the mailbox of George Soros’ home in New York. Today, we learned of several other suspicious packages. NBC News reported:

Suspicious packages that appear to be working explosives were sent to Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama and CNN’s New York newsroom, triggering a nationwide investigation and bi-partisan condemnation, officials said.

The first package intercepted was addressed to the former presidential candidate and discovered on Tuesday near the Clintons’ home in Chappaqua, New York, a suburb of New York City. A second was addressed to Obama and intercepted Wednesday in Washington, D.C., the FBI and Secret Service said in a statement.

The third was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan and discovered Wednesday at CNN’s base in Manhattan.

As is always the case in a story like this, details have come to light over the course of the morning, and a detailed picture isn’t yet crystal clear, but we know a fair amount. The Secret Service has made clear, for example, that the packages were intercepted before reaching their intended destination, and the protectees “did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them.”

[Update: One of the packages was also sent to former Attorney General Eric Holder. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) told reporters this afternoon that he also received a suspicious package, though it appears to have been unrelated.]

We also know that CNN’s New York office was evacuated earlier today.

As for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the former chair of the Democratic National Committee, NBC News reported that her name was used for the return address on the suspicious packages. The Miami Herald  reports, meanwhile, that Wasserman Schultz’s district office in South Florida was evacuated this morning in response to a suspicious package.

It doesn’t take a political genius to note that each of the packages appear to have been sent to perceived opponents of Donald Trump, which will likely lead to all kinds of speculation about the motives of those responsible for sending them.

But in case this isn’t painfully obvious, I’d recommend caution and restraint. Not only are we unaware of whether the packages were, in fact, dangerous, but speculation along these lines has been wrong before.

Benjy Sarlin noted this morning, “[W]eird things happen all the time. A run of bomb threats to Jewish centers after the election was a disturbed teenager in Israel. Ricin letters to the [White House] and [New York city] mayor in 2014 was someone trying to frame their husband.”

Investigators will do their work, at which time we’ll hopefully learn more.