Packages containing 'potential explosive devices' sent to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama

Suspicious packages addressed to former U.S. president Barack Obama and two-time presidential candidate Hillary Clinton have been intercepted, according to the Secret Service.

The Secret Service characterized the packages as "potential explosive devices."

A package addressed to Clinton, Obama's former secretary of state, was located in Westchester County, N.Y., late Tuesday, the agency said. Hillary Clinton and former president Bill Clinton have a residence in Chappaqua, N.Y.

A second package, addressed to the Washington, D.C., residence of Obama, was intercepted on Wednesday morning.

Officers with the Secret Service talk at a checkpoint near Obama's home on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

Neither of the prominent Democrats was in the vicinity of the packages when they were flagged.

"The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such," the Secret Service said.

"Nothing made it to their home," Bill Clinton's spokesperson confirmed to Reuters in an email.

Hillary Clinton was not at the family's New York residence at the time. She began a two-day stint in Florida on Tuesday, drumming up support for Democratic candidates contesting the midterm elections in two weeks.

Trump administration condemns 'acts of violence'

Daughter Chelsea Clinton expressed her gratitude on social media to "the women and men of the United States Secret Service."

The White House released a statement condemning the actions.


"We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against president Obama, president Clinton, secretary Clinton and other public figures," said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, calling the perpetrators "cowards."

"These terrorizing acts are despicable and anyone responsible will be held accountable."

Vice-President Mike Pence added in a statement: "These cowardly actions are despicable and have no place in this country."

He thanked law enforcement and added: "Those responsible will be brought to justice."

Trump retweeted Pence's message, adding "I agree wholeheartedly!"

Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and a White House adviser, said there was "no excuse" for the "acts of violence."

"There is no excuse – America is better than this," she said on Twitter.

Soon after the Secret Service released its statement, the Time Warner building in New York City was evacuated due to reports of a suspicious package.

The New York Police Department said it couldn't say whether the package at the building, which houses CNN and retail shops, had any similarities to those addressed to Clinton and Obama.

Police work near the cordoned off Time Warner building in New York City, where a suspicious package was located in the mailroom. (Associated Press)

Police advised those in the area it had cordoned off to shelter in place and for others not to travel to that part of Manhattan.

CNN president Jeff Zucker said the news organization was co-operating closely with the NYPD.

"The Time Warner Center has been evacuated out of an abundance of caution, as a result of a suspicious package having been received in the mailroom," he said.

Zucker added that CNN was also checking all of its international bureaus regardless of location.

Just two days ago, an explosive device was found in a mailbox at the suburban New York home of George Soros, the liberal billionaire philanthropist who has been denounced by the president and vilified by right-wing conspiracy theorists.

A Soros employee alerted authorities of the package, which they left in a wooded area near the home. A pipe bomb was later detonated, authorities said.

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