The Secret Service said Wednesday that “potential explosive devices” were addressed to former President Barack Obama and ex-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
In a statement, the Secret Service said that the package addressed to Obama was intercepted by agency personnel in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday morning.
“The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such. Both packages were intercepted prior to being delivered to their intended location. The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them,” the agency said.
“The Secret Service has initiated a full scope criminal investigation that will leverage all available federal, state, and local resources to determine the source of the packages and identify those responsible,” the statement added.
NBC News reported soon after that the NYPD had been called to the Time Warner Center in midtown Manhattan to investigate another suspicious package. It was not immediately clear if the package was a real explosive device, or whether it was connected to the packages addressed to Clinton and Obama.
News network CNN’s headquarters are located in the Time Warner Center.
CNN also reported Wednesday that a suspicious package addressed to the White House had also been intercepted. The Secret Service and the White House did not immediately confirm this report to CNBC.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that the Trump administration condemns the “terrorizing acts” against Obama, the Clintons and “other public figures”:
“We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures. 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.”
The New York Times, citing two law enforcement officials, reported that the devices addressed to the influential Democrats were similar to one found at the home of George Soros, a politically active billionaire and pariah to many on the right, on Monday.
GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, for instance, floated the possibility last week that Soros was funding a “caravan” of migrants traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border from Honduras. The president of Soros’ Open Society Foundations called the claims “false and misleading” in a recent op-ed for the Tampa Bay Times.
Soros’ home in Bedford, New York, is located fewer than nine miles from the Clintons’ residence. Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said in a tweet that “nothing” sent to Clinton “got to any home.”
President Donald Trump has been briefed on the packages and is taking the situation “extremely seriously,” a senior White House official told NBC News.
New Castle Police Department Lieutenant James Carroll told CNBC that his department has assisted the FBI and U.S. Secret Service in investigating the package sent to the Clintons, which was discovered last night.
In a tweet Wednesday morning, the New York branch of the FBI acknowledged the existence of the package sent to the Clintons, but said it would decline further comment on the ongoing investigation.
A spokeswoman for Obama declined to comment and referred CNBC to the Secret Service. Representatives for Hillary Clinton did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for further comment.
Hillary Clinton is currently in Florida to attend a fundraising event, NBC reported. Bill Clinton was at the New York home.
–CNBC’s Brian Schwartz contributed to this report.