CNN evacuated its New York offices on Wednesday after the cable network received a suspicious package that police investigated as an explosive device.
Alarms went off during the network’s morning broadcast, as anchors Jim Sciutto and Poppy Harlow were reporting on what the Secret Service said were potential explosive devices sent to the homes of Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama and billionaire Democratic donor George Soros. It was unclear if the four packages were linked.
About 200 employees cleared out of CNN’s Manhattan offices on Columbus Circle after the package was discovered in a mailroom.
The network switched its coverage from New York to its Washington studios, but then switched back to Sciutto and Harlow, who reported on the sidewalk outside CNN’s building.
CNN’s offices are in the headquarters of its parent company, Time Warner. The Time Warner Center includes the company’s other networks, including TNT and corporate offices of WarnerMedia.
According to CNN sources, the suspicious package was received at the building around 9:30 a.m. EDT. It wasn’t clear to whom it was addressed.
The sending of suspicious parcels to Soros, Clinton, Obama and CNN strongly suggests that the sender or senders were motivated by animus toward those President Donald Trump has frequently criticized.
Trump has singled out CNN repeatedly in his denunciations of the “fake news” media and his characterization of the press as “the enemy of the people.”
In an email to employees, CNN president Jeff Zucker said the network was “checking all bureaus around the world, out of a complete abundance of caution.”
He later followed up, telling employees that “we continue to remain on alert in New York. The NYPD is currently in the building assessing the situation. I can confirm that we have checked all of our bureaus worldwide, and have found no other devices at this time.”
No injuries have been reported in any of the incidents.
CNN reporter Jessica Schneider tweeted Wednesday morning that law enforcement officers told her that the device sent to the network was “constructed with pipe and wires. Law enforcement authorities treating device as real explosive.”
In a statement sent via Twitter, Vice President Mike Pence said, “We condemn the attempted attacks against former President Obama, the Clintons, CNN and others. These cowardly actions are despicable and have no place in this Country. Grateful for swift response of @Secret Service, @FBI & local law enforcement. Those responsible will be brought to justice.”
CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer said the package sent to CNN was addressed to John Brennan, the former CIA director. Brennan is now a TV commentator, but he is a contributor to MSNBC, not CNN.
Brennan, who served during the Obama Administration, has been a harsh critic of Trump, who retaliated against him in August by revoking his security clearance.
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