WASHINGTON – Leading Democrats – including former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – were the targets of up to five package bombs, a series of attacks that motivated President Donald Trump on Wednesday to issue a call for unity.
The first news about the incidents came from New York, where Clinton late on Tuesday received a suspicious package at her home in Westchester County, near New York City.
Then, the Secret Service reported that a second package sent to the Washington residence of the Obamas – Barack and Michelle – had been intercepted.
Over the subsequent hours, the names of more people who had received suspicious package became known, including former CIA Director John Brennan.
The latest former top official on the target list was ex-US Attorney General Eric Holder, but the package sent to him never arrived and was returned to the listed sender, former Democratic National Committee chairperson and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
The FBI later determined that all the suspicious packages detected so far included the address of Schultz’s office in Florida as the sender.
All the packages contained homemade bombs similar to the one police found and detonated on Monday at the New York state residence of billionaire philanthropist George Soros.
The White House issued a statement in which it vehemently rejected “these terrorizing acts” and called them “despicable.”
“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,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in the statement.
Although the motivation for the package bombs is not yet known, the fact that the recipients were all well-known antagonists of Trump led several leaders to call for unity, with just two weeks remaining before the Nov. 6 midterm elections.
“We have to come together and send one very clear and strong message that acts or threats of political violence have no place in the United States of America.” Trump said at a Wednesday afternoon press conference at the White House.
The president went on to condemn the “egregious conduct,” adding that it was “abhorrent to everything we hold dear as Americans.”
Meanwhile, at a Democratic Party campaign event in Miami, Hillary Clinton said that the US is going through “a troubling time” and she called upon all Americans to do everything possible to unify the country.