The number of explosive devices targeting public figures in the US has now reached 10, report Jesse Robertson, Daniel Failla and James Hearnes.
As the crisis entered its second day, former Vice President Joe Biden and actor Robert De Niro were targeted with small pipe bombs as President Donald Trump was criticised for laying responsibility on the press, citing what he labelled as “purposely false and inaccurate reporting”.
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. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2018
CNN’s @DonLemon calls out President Trump for not taking responsibility after people he has targeted were sent suspicious packages: “He just can’t help himself” https://t.co/QXsBfVb2Pu pic.twitter.com/UNQ7l86KzM
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) October 25, 2018
Mr Biden, who served as vice president during the Obama administration, was due to receive a bomb in the mail before it was found at a postal service facility in his home state of Delaware, while De Niro received one addressed to his Tribeca production office and restaurant in New York City.
The 75-year-old film star garnered significant reaction at June’s Tony Awards when he proclaimed “f**k Trump” during a presentation, earning him a standing ovation.
Mr Biden – a potential rival for Mr Trump at the 2020 election– has also been heavily critical of the President, and the two new bomb incidents have reinforced the trend of targeting those who have expressed particularly negative views on Trump.
This country has to come together. This division, this hatred, this ugliness has to end.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 24, 2018
When the crisis began on Wednesday, President Trump vowed to bring to swift justice the perpetrators of the series of apparent intended terrorist acts.
“Any acts or threats of political violence are an attack on our democracy itself,” Mr Trump told a rally in Wisconsin on Wednesday night, US time, just hours after authorities revealed explosive devices sent to five targets had been discovered.
“No nation can succeed that tolerates violence or the threat of violence as a method of political intimidation, coercion or control. We all know that. We want all sides to come together in peace and harmony.
Trump: “No one should carelessly compare political opponents to historical villains — which is done often…gotta stop. We should not mob people in public spaces or destroy public property.” He’s recently been describing Democrats supporters as a “mob.”
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 25, 2018
The statements followed the New York Police Department’s response to reports of a suspicious package containing a “pipe bomb” explosive device at the offices of CNN at the Time Warner Centre in New York. The CNN package was addressed to a regular commentator on the MSNBC network and frequent Trump critic, former CIA chief John Brennan.
The Secret Service had already confirmed the interception of similar packages addressed to the home of former US President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, the office of Barack Obama in Washington, and the home of billionaire George Soros in Westchester County, New York.
Here are some other pics of the packages obtained by CNN including those intended for Soros and Obama. The envelope sent to Brennan at CNN contained white powder that authorities now believe may be pyrotechnic powder believed to be in the pipe bomb pic.twitter.com/8qv3NSSvmE
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) October 25, 2018