Police in New York City removed a suspicious package sent to a building owned by actor Robert De Niro early Thursday, while authorities were investigating a package found at a Delaware mail facility that was addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden.
The package was sent to the Greenwich Street headquarters of the actor’s Tribeca Enterprises venture, adding to the pattern of explosive devices discovered Wednesday at CNN and others sent to the homes of prominent Democrats including former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CNN. Others were directed to former Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and George Soros, a major Democratic donor.
Police removed the package sent to De Niro before sunrise, according to local media reports.
In a statement, De Niro’s Tribeca Enterprises said the building in the high traffic area of Lower Manhattan will remain open.
“A suspicious package was received. We called the police. They took it out and went through all safety procedures. It was addressed to Robert De Niro and is similar packaging to the others. It is an open investigation. Everyone is safe and the building is open,” Tribeca said.
De Niro has been a prominent critic of President Donald Trump. The actor made headlines by yelling “F— Trump” in June during CBS’ live telecast of the Tony Awards.
The Associated Press reported early Thursday that a package was found at a Delaware mail facility that bore similarities to the others and was intended for Biden, but it was misaddressed.
As reports of the packages were surfacing on Thursday, Biden, a potential 2020 presidential contender, wrote on Twitter, “This country has to come together. This division, this hatred, this ugliness has to end.” A spokesman for Biden referred questions to the FBI.
The flurry of mail bomb activity has sparked the creation of a federal task force to hunt for the source of the packages. The FBI, which is leading the investigation through its counterterrorism division, warned in Wednesday that
“We will bring them to justice,” President Trump said Wednesday night during a rally in Wisconsin.
All of the packages were sent to figures who have been critical of Trump — but who also have been relentless rhetorical targets by the president and his allies. The suspicious package sent to CNN headquarters in New York on Wednesday was addressed to former CIA director John Brennan, another prominent Trump critic, apparently by mistake as Brennan actually is a commentator for MSNBC.
On Thursday morning, Trump blamed the media for the caustic political environment, as his did at the Wisconsin rally.
“A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News,” Trump wrote. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”
A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2018
Brennan responded to Trump’s tweet, writing, “Stop blaming others. Look in the mirror. Your inflammatory rhetoric, insults, lies, & encouragement of physical violence are disgraceful. Clean up your act….try to act Presidential. The American people deserve much better. BTW, your critics will not be intimidated into silence.”
Stop blaming others. Look in the mirror. Your inflammatory rhetoric, insults, lies, & encouragement of physical violence are disgraceful. Clean up your act….try to act Presidential. The American people deserve much better. BTW, your critics will not be intimidated into silence. https://t.co/cS5qNiuU7o
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) October 25, 2018
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, arriving at the White House on Thursday, complained that the media continued to focus on the negative in coverage of Trump. She said that it was “absolutely ridiculous” to blame Trump for the mailing of the pipe bombs.
After CNN President Jeff Zucker criticized Trump for his anti-media rhetoric, Sanders responded on Twitter, saying, that Trump “asked Americans ‘to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the USA.’ Yet you chose to attack and divide. America should unite against all political violence.”