Suspect arrested after explosive devices sent to Trump critics and CNN

By Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha, Sophie Tatum, Eric Levenson, Brian Ries, Paul P. Murphy and Jessie Yeung, CNN

Updated 2:25 p.m. ET, November 5, 2018
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12:25 p.m. ET, October 25, 2018

Trump believes he is being unfairly linked to bombs

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

President Trump believes he is being unfairly linked to the serial package bombing incidents and has no current plans to claim any personal responsibility that his rhetoric has contributed to the attempted attacks, two people who have spoken to him today said.

The President received an update on the latest incidents today. He is telling aides he is confident the authorities will find the suspect or suspects.

He has no immediate plans to call this domestic terrorism (pending investigation), a White House official said.

The President’s view today on the potential serial bomber is clear from his tweets blaming the media, which he believes is true and thinks his supporters will as well. 

“He believes he’s treated with hostility and unfairly — there’s no talking him out of that,” one confidant of the President said.

White House aides are taking their cues from the President, who has shown no signs so far today of changing his approach in responding to this. 

Here's how White House press secretary Sarah Sanders answered questions this morning:

11:49 a.m. ET, October 25, 2018

Here's what we know about the manhunt for the bomber -- or bombers

We've been closely tracking the discoveries of explosive devices that were sent to a number of prominent individuals who have spoken out against President Trump, but we haven't as heard much about the manhunt for the person or people who sent the packages.

Here are five things we know:

  1. A manhunt is underway for the perpetrator behind the packages. Law enforcement authorities are treating the series of bombs as a domestic terror matter and are advising the public to remain vigilant.
  2. The motive is unknown, but the recipients are all prominent targets of right-wing criticism and, in many cases, of Trump himself.
  3. The FBI's counterterrorism division is leading the investigation into the packages and the agency says it's possible additional packages were mailed to other locations.
  4. It's being handled as a domestic terror matter, which is the assumption based on the absence of other information regarding, according to a law enforcement official.
  5. Speaking on CNN New Day, NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio said he believes there is a serial bomber out there, but it’s not clear whether the person or people are in New York or elsewhere in the country, or foreign.
11:21 a.m. ET, October 25, 2018

Programming alert: New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, Mayor Bill deBlasio, FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney, and other law enforcement leadership will brief the media on the latest in the package bomb investigation at NYPD Headquarters at 3:30 p.m. ET.

11:13 a.m. ET, October 25, 2018

AG Sessions getting an update from FBI now on suspicious packages

From CNN's Laura Jarrett

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is being updated on the latest information regarding the suspicious packages by the FBI right now, according to a Justice Department official.

11:10 a.m. ET, October 25, 2018

Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs peddles conspiracy theory about suspicious packages

From CNN's Oliver Darcy

Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs, who is prone to peddling conspiracy theories and is a prominent supporter of President Trump, asserted without evidence on Thursday that it was "fake news" that suspicious packages were mailed this week to high-profile Democrats and the New York City offices of CNN.

"Fake bombs," Dobbs wrote in a tweet posted to his verified account Thursday morning. "Who could possibly benefit by so much fakery?"

Dobbs deleted his tweet after immediate and widespread condemnation. Authorities have said that the bombs found in the packages were rudimentary, but functional.

It was not clear if Dobbs' tweet violated the standards of the Fox Business Network or whether he would face any disciplinary action.

Spokespeople for Fox Business did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

10:46 a.m. ET, October 25, 2018

FBI confirms three additional packages

The FBI said in a tweet Thursday morning that it could confirm three more packages that were "similar in appearance to the others."

"One in New York addressed to Robert DeNiro, and two in Delaware addressed to former Vice President Joseph Biden," said the tweet from the FBI's official account.

This brings the total to 10 suspicious packages that have been discovered since earlier this week.

10:42 a.m. ET, October 25, 2018

The package addressed to Robert De Niro arrived yesterday

From CNN's Poppy Harlow and Shimon Prokupecz

The package addressed to Robert De Niro arrived Wednesday morning in the general mailing room, a law enforcement official tells CNN.

A retired police officer working there discovered the package yesterday, but didn’t think anything of it and left it in his office. 

After seeing news reports, he realized the package was similar to the other mail bombs and called NYPD's 1st precinct at 4:00 a.m.

The NYPD then responded with their Emergency Services Unit units and the bomb squad. 

The package was removed around 7:00 a.m. and was never opened.

De Niro was not at the office when authorities responded this morning, according to a source with direct knowledge.

10:45 a.m. ET, October 25, 2018

There's a second package addressed to Joe Biden

From CNN's David Shortell

Authorities have found two packages addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden that are similar in appearance and contain potential explosive devices that appear similar to the others found, a law enforcement official said.

FBI and local partners are now responding to two scenes at Delaware post offices, according to an FBI spokesman.

Local Delaware authorities have identified the location of the two post office scenes:

  • The 1500 block of Lancaster Avenue in Wilmington, Delaware, according to Wilmington police
  • 147 Quigley Blvd. in New Castle, Delaware, according to Delaware State Police.

11:17 a.m. ET, October 25, 2018

Soros. Clinton. Obama. Brennan. Holder. Waters. Biden. De Niro. Here's who the packages were sent to.

So far, 10 suspicious packages -- each with possible explosive devices inside -- have been located by authorities. Here's what we know about the eight targets:

  • George Soros: The package found Monday and appeared to be an explosive device. There was a controlled detonation; the device is secured and remains in New York.
  • Hillary Clinton:  The package was addressed to Clinton residence in Chappaqua, New York, and intercepted Tuesday night by the Secret Service during routine mail inspection
  • Barack Obama: The package was intercepted in Washington, D.C., during routine mail screening procedures, the Secret Service said.
  • John Brennan (sent to CNN offices): The "live explosive device" was delivered by courier to CNN's offices in New York. The NYPD said an envelope containing white powder also was found as part of the device's original packaging.
  • Eric Holder (found at Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's office): The package was addressed to the former attorney general, but sent to the Florida office of Schultz, whose return address was on the package.
  • Rep. Maxine Waters: One package was sent to the Democratic congresswoman's office in DC and a second package addressed to her was found at a postal facility in Los Angeles. It matches the description of those sent to the other officials.
  • Joe Biden: The FBI says two packages were found in Delaware addressed to former Vice President Joseph Biden.
  • Robert De Niro: The package has markings similar to the pipe bomb packages recently mailed nationwide to top Democrats, sources said.

This map shows the locations of the packages. (Note that the second package for Waters was found in California.)

Take a look: