STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Packages to Biden, De Niro seized, similar to earlier bombs

The mail-bomb scare widened Thursday as law enforcement officials seized three more suspicious packages — two addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden and one to actor Robert De Niro.

Posted: Oct 25, 2018 12:54 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The mail-bomb scare widened Thursday as law enforcement officials seized three more suspicious packages — two addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden and one to actor Robert De Niro — and said they were similar to crude pipe bombs sent to former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and CNN.

None of the devices exploded, and no one was injured. But the packages, sent to prominent Democrats critical of President Donald Trump, heightened nationwide tensions and fears two weeks before major congressional midterm elections.

Even as everyone condemned the unknown sender and Trump decried political violence, blame flew for the corrosive nature of America’s political conversation.

“A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News,” Trump said in a morning Tweet. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”

Former CIA Director John Brennan, the target of one package sent to CNN, fired back.

“Stop blaming others. Look in the mirror,” Brennan tweeted. “Your inflammatory rhetoric, insults, lies, & encouragement of physical violence are disgraceful. Clean up your act....try to act Presidential.”

The politics belied the life-and-death nature of the growing list of bombing targets in New York, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Florida and California.

The FBI said Thursday that the packages sent to De Niro and Biden were similar to those discovered earlier.

De Niro dropped an expletive insult at Trump at this year’s Tony Awards and also apologized to Canadians for the “idiotic behavior of my president.”

Biden has also criticized Trump as recently as last week, saying the president may not “know what he’s doing” and coddles dictators.

Recovery of the packages to Biden and De Niro came after others were received by prominent Democrats and CNN.

The first crude bomb to be discovered had been delivered Monday to the suburban New York compound of George Soros, a liberal billionaire and major contributor to Democratic causes. Soros has called Trump’s presidency “dangerous.”

Similar packages addressed to Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama were intercepted on their way to Chappaqua, New York, where Clinton lives with former President Bill Clinton and to Washington, where Obama lives with his wife, Michelle. The Secret Service said neither package reached their recipients.

More were sent to frequent Trump critics Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California and former Attorney General Eric Holder. His ended up at the Florida office of Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was listed as the return address.

A police bomb squad removed the package addressed to Brennan from CNN’s New York office, which was evacuated.

The bombs seized Wednesday, each with a small battery, were about six inches long and packed with powder and broken glass, said a law enforcement official who viewed X-ray images and spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

The official said the devices were made from PVC pipe and covered with black tape.

“Suffice it to say, it appears an individual or individuals sent out multiple, similar packages,” said John Miller, the New York Police Department’s head of intelligence and counterterrorism, who briefed reporters.

As the scope of the attack became clearer Wednesday, Trump decried political violence during a scripted event in the White House East Room and other members of the administration said it has no place in American society.

Later at a rally in Wisconsin, he urged unity.

“Let’s get along,” he said. “By the way, do you see how nice I’m behaving tonight? Have you ever seen this?”

But at the same event, he blamed the media and on Twitter Thursday kept up the argument that the media plays a role.

“Acts or threats of political violence have no place in the United States,” Trump said. “This egregious conduct is abhorrent.”

Other Republican leaders said the same. But Democratic Senate and House leaders Chuck Schumer of New York and Nancy Pelosi of California said such words “ring hollow” when coming from Trump. They noted the president’s recent praise of a GOP congressman who body-slammed a reporter, among other Trump statements.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders sought to draw a distinction between words and deeds.

“There is a big difference between comments made and actions taken,” she told reporters. “The president is certainly not responsible for sending suspicious packages to someone no more than Bernie Sanders was responsible for a supporter of his shooting up a Republican baseball field practice last year.”

James T. Hodgkinson, 66, was shot and killed by police after he opened fire on congressional Republicans practicing for their annual charity baseball game against Democrats in 2017. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the House majority whip, was struck in the hip and badly wounded.

Hodgkinson’s widow said he had been a supporter of Bernie Sanders in 2016.

___

Sisak reported from New York. Associated Press writers Laurie Kellman, Colleen Long, Ken Thomas, Jill Colvin and Chad Day in Washington and Jim Mustian, Deepti Hajela and Tom Hays in New York contributed to this report.

Terre Haute
Few Clouds
53° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 53°
Robinson
Overcast
53° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 53°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
51° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 51°
Rockville
Scattered Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 46°
Casey
Overcast
56° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 56°
Brazil
Few Clouds
53° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 53°
Marshall
Few Clouds
53° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 53°
Breezy, warmer Wednesday
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 292082

Reported Deaths: 8858
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1443155217
DuPage17589561
Lake16953487
Will14045378
Kane13159326
St. Clair6665190
Winnebago6037149
Madison5760137
Champaign473320
McHenry4609118
Peoria351050
McLean329523
Rock Island302676
Kankakee275277
Unassigned2532244
Sangamon243245
Kendall202025
Tazewell178025
LaSalle172557
DeKalb159038
Macon156044
Coles147231
Williamson140645
Jackson126224
Clinton119020
Adams114910
Boone112823
Randolph94111
Effingham8722
Vermilion7914
Whiteside75320
Ogle7286
Monroe68016
Knox6723
Grundy6705
Henry6665
Morgan66223
Bureau65211
Jefferson62038
Marion5661
Christian55411
Macoupin5507
Franklin5413
Stephenson5296
Union51524
McDonough48215
Logan4681
Crawford4584
Woodford4266
Fayette4183
Livingston4036
Cass39811
Jersey39415
Shelby3944
Lee3831
Montgomery37613
Iroquois36719
Perry35315
Saline3464
Warren3332
Bond3305
Douglas3147
Wayne2805
Jo Daviess2662
Lawrence2592
Carroll2355
Greene22911
Cumberland2185
Hancock2183
Moultrie2183
Washington2161
Jasper2139
Richland2136
Pulaski1811
Fulton1780
Clark1742
White1690
Wabash1583
Clay1560
Johnson1560
Mason1531
Mercer1405
Piatt1390
Pike1341
De Witt1252
Menard1251
Edgar1138
Massac1132
Ford1055
Marshall1050
Alexander831
Scott790
Gallatin732
Hamilton712
Henderson690
Edwards640
Brown620
Calhoun600
Putnam570
Stark552
Schuyler500
Hardin400
Pope291
Out of IL20

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 118322

Reported Deaths: 3591
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21502767
Lake10688323
Elkhart6707111
St. Joseph6619113
Allen6330205
Hamilton4938109
Vanderburgh378131
Hendricks2766124
Monroe265536
Tippecanoe256613
Johnson2352124
Clark225957
Porter219947
Delaware200162
Cass19559
Vigo186827
Madison170375
LaPorte149141
Floyd139664
Warrick138242
Howard132663
Kosciusko125917
Bartholomew118457
Marshall101524
Dubois99919
Boone99146
Grant95134
Hancock94643
Noble93132
Henry81226
Jackson7739
Wayne77014
Morgan73438
Daviess68028
Shelby68029
Dearborn67528
LaGrange64011
Clinton62314
Harrison59224
Putnam58411
Gibson5355
Knox5289
Lawrence51629
Montgomery51121
DeKalb48811
White48714
Decatur45939
Miami4394
Greene42735
Fayette42313
Jasper4012
Scott39011
Steuben3907
Posey3460
Sullivan33812
Jennings31612
Franklin31325
Clay3085
Ripley3078
Orange28824
Whitley2826
Carroll27813
Adams2763
Wabash2728
Starke2717
Washington2701
Wells2674
Spencer2633
Jefferson2503
Huntington2473
Fulton2442
Tipton22822
Randolph2238
Perry22113
Jay1920
Newton17411
Owen1711
Martin1680
Pike1641
Rush1574
Vermillion1310
Fountain1292
Blackford1213
Pulaski1141
Crawford1100
Parke1072
Brown1043
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren411
Unassigned0226