Two “potential explosive devices” were sent to former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. According to a statement by the Secret Service, “The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such.” Released on Wednesday, the statement read: “The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them.” At the White House, President Trump vigorously denounced the alleged perpetrators and vowed to root them out.

The Secret Service statement noted that the device addressed to Hillary Clinton was intercepted on Tuesday night and had been directed to home address in New York. Early Wednesday morning, the device intended for Obama was intercepted in Washington, D.C.

As of this hour, the Secret Service has launched an investigation into the packages to determine the source and identity of those who sent the devices. The two packages were discovered just two days after a similar device was found near the home of George Soros, the billionaire progressive philanthropist, in Westchester County, New York.

At a campaign event in Coral Gables, Florida, Hillary Clinton said, "We are fine, thanks to the men and women of the Secret Service who intercepted the package addressed to us long before it reached our home." She added, "But it is a troubling time, isn't it?" Clinton said. "And it's a time of deep divisions and we have to do everything we can to bring our country together." 

"We also have to elect candidates who will try to do the same,” she said.

Earlier in October, Hillary Clinton told CNN show host Christianne Amanpour that "civility" would return to public discourse should Democrats regain control of Congress in the mid-term elections. She said, "That's why I believe if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that's when civility can start again. But until then, the only thing that the Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength."

A pipebomb was also sent to the New York City headquarters of CNN. According to New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill, it appears to have been a "live explosive" Also, the package that was sent to CNN contained a suspicious powder, said John Miller, NYPD deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism. The device appears to be a metal pipe with wires. Heavily armed police have been deployed in an around CNN headquarters. Patrols are being increased at locations associated with the other explosives: George Soros, Bill and Hillary Clinton. Packages addressed to those locations are being inspected. Patrols at other media are being increased. 

Reacting to the news about the bombs, Philippe Reines -- a former staffer for Hillary Clinton -- claimed that Trump has incited the "hate and violence" leading to the attacks. "Irrespective of what this person’s political leanings or motivations are, we are living in an atmosphere where hate and violence have been not only incited but condoned by Donald Trump," said Reines, former deputy assistant secretary of State. During the 2016 campaign, he trained Clinton for presidential debates. He told MSNBC's Craig Melvin that Trump is to blame for the bombs, even if the perpetrator is actually the "the most liberal person in America."

"Look, this could be the most liberal person in America who has some problem with these four individuals or institutions. It doesn’t really matter," Reines argued. "There are a lot of people who are living on the edge of sanity in general and when people in authority kind of lift the guardrails from that, people are going to act out and there is no human being more responsible for the climate we’re in than Donald Trump."

Even though Trump and other Republicans vigorously condemned the bombs, Reines piled on Trump. "Today is the 643rd day he has been in office. I don’t think he has uttered a single word on any of those days that in any way condemns violence or tells people to dial it down," the former Clinton staffer said.

Trump targeted by ricin

In another instance of political violence, charging documents were filed on Friday in U.S. District Court in Utah, saing that 39-year-old William Clyde Allen III told investigators he wanted to "send a message"  in letters he sent to President Donald Trump and others through the mail. The letters contained ground castor beans, which are a precursor for deadly ricin poison. Allen wept in court and spoke about his ailing wife. He did not enter a plea to answer to charges that may lead to life in prison. The envelopes were sent to the president, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Defence Secretary James Mattis and Adm. John Richardson. Some allegedly had Allen's return address.

Reaction

Reacting to suggestions on social media that sought to link Trump to his political "enemies" (Bill and Hillary Clinton, George Soros), conservative actor James Woods tweeted: "An just like that, invasion horde disappeared from the news," in reference to the so-called "caravan" of migrants who have left Central America with the stated purpose of reaching the United States.

From the Haymarket riot to the Unibomber, bombs are a liberal tactic. https://t.co/P3YvUorxwL

A former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer sought to link the bombings to President Trump. Democrat political operative Zac Petkanas tweeted: "Let's be clear about what is happening. Someone just tried to assassinate five of Donald Trump's perceived political enemies."

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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