The arrest of Cesar Sayoc, suspected of mailing "potentially destructive devices" to at least 13 prominent Democrats, led lawmakers to herald law enforcement officials — while others took the opportunity to criticize President Trump.
A rash of suspicious packages sent to high-profile political figures throughout this week led to a coast-to-coast manhunt for the suspect. As of Friday, devices had been sent to liberal billionaire George Soros, former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, California Rep. Maxine Waters, former Attorney General Eric Holder, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, actor Robert De Niro, former intel chief James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and California Sen. Kamala Harris.
Sayoc was arrested Friday at an auto parts store in Plantation, Florida.
Trump applauded the FBI and law enforcement officials and decried the use of violence in the political realm. Trump called the packages and the events of the week "despicable".
"We must never allow political violence to take root in America. We cannot let it happen. And I am committed to doing everything in my power as president to stop it. And to stop it now," he said during remarks at the Young Black Leadership Summit in the White House Friday.
Other lawmakers praised the work of law enforcement officials while criticizing those who previously claimed the packages could be "hoaxes."
"Grateful to law enforcement officials for working together to protect the public [and] postal workers by tracking down [the] suspect in mail bomb case," Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said. "This was not a hoax [and] those who labeled it as such did a disservice. Now we must follow facts [and] evidence [and] bring [the] perpetrator to justice."
"Bombs — rhetorical or real — targeting the free press [and] political leaders (most recently, my brave friend Cory Booker) will not deter or distract us," Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said in a tweet.
Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush took a shot at Trump.
"How long before Trump calls it a fake van?" Rush said, referencing the white van covered with political stickers believed to be the Sayoc's. Authorities seized the vehicle Friday.
Other lawmakers, however, took time to praise law enforcement officials for their work this week.
"Once again, the men and women of our law enforcement community have proven that they are the best in the world, and I join President Trump in expressing my sincere gratitude to them for their swift apprehension of the man responsible for these acts of terror," Rep. Steve Scalise, the GOP congressman injured in a 2017 shooting that targeted Republican lawmakers, said. "Let this serve as another reminder that threats and violence have absolutely no place in American politics, or anywhere else in our society."
Nebraska Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, a Republican, said, "Whatever the source, whatever the cause, whatever the means, whatever the target, political violence has no place in America."
"Hopeful this ordeal has come to an end with no further threats of violence," said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said. "Extremely thankful to law enforcement and first responders for their courage during this trying week."
"This outcome is a credit to great leadership and excellence on the part of federal, state and local law enforcement," Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., said.
Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., praised the FBI and Florida law enforcement officials.
"Nationwide manhunts aren't easy. Neither is keeping our nation safe. Thankful for all those in the line of duty," Cooper said.
Fox News' Barnini Chakraborty contributed to this report.