President Trump Responds to Arrest of Suspect in Packaged Pipe Bombs

Rosalie Gross
October 27, 2018

None detonated and no one has been hurt. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Media report that at least 8 bomb threats took place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday during a press conference that "the full weight and resources" of the federal government are being devoted to identifying the person or persons responsible for what the chief executive described as "despicable acts".

Trump first applauded law enforcement for capturing the suspect who mailed bombs to high-profile Democrats and he said, "Political violence must never ever be allowed in America and I will do everything in my power to stop it".

But he says the media "has a responsibly to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories". All the packages included crude bombs fashioned from PVC pipes and sent inside non-descript manila envelope, with pre-printed addresses and a half-dozen stamps - each bearing an American flag.

The devices all were sent to an Federal Bureau of Investigation lab in Virginia to be studied.

Law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that the devices, containing timers and batteries, were not rigged to explode upon opening.

The discovery of pipe bombs targeting prominent Democratic politicians and CNN is raising the threat of election-season violence largely unknown in the US - and prompting uncomfortable questions about the consequences of leaders' increasingly vitriolic rhetoric.

Other packages were addressed to former US President Barack Obama, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, US Congresswoman Maxine Waters, actor Robert Deniro and former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan in care of CNN, among others.

The CNN bureau in NY also received a package addressed to Brennan, who has appeared as an on-air CNN analyst, leading police to evacuate the Time Warner building in a busy Manhattan neighborhood near Central Park.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said his office received a similar package, but New York police officials said the office was cleared and no device was found. Wray says they matched a fingerprint found on one of the packages that had been sent to U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters of California.

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Also, on Friday, KLAS-TV in Las Vegas reported that a suspicious package was being investigated after it was delivered to the National Nuclear Security Administration North Las Vegas facilities.

All of the targets are frequently maligned by right-wing critics.

President Donald Trump said a wave of bombing attempts against prominent Democrats is slowing political momentum for Republicans as congressional elections approach.

"There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media", he said. "Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that".

President Trump is reacting to Democrat campaigns that frame healthcare as a defining difference between the parties, particularly protecting health insurance coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. And the president was transparent about what he was trying to do.

Trump offered a similar argument in a tweet last week, stating that "all Republicans support people with pre-existing conditions, and if they don't, they will after I speak to them".

Mr. Trump has been especially critical of Waters in recent months, after Waters suggested at a June rally that protesters harass Trump cabinet members.

"Don't encourage violence, don't encourage hatred, don't encourage attacks on media", he added without naming Trump.

"I tried to fix this problem in Congress", Alexander said.

During his remarks, Trump, who recently declared himself a "nationalist", derided "globalists", saying: "I like the globe too, but we have to take care of our people". "Our thoughts today were with our colleagues at CNN as they were dealing with this real time, and we're very happy everybody's okay".

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