Trump: 'We have to unify' after suspected explosive devices sent to Democratic politicians, CNN

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Speaking at the White House on Wednesday, President Trump called for national unity after suspected explosive devices were sent to several top Democratic politicians and CNN, saying the episode was "abhorrent."

"The safety of the American people is my highest and absolute priority," Trump said. "I've just concluded a briefing with the FBI, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Secret Service. As we speak, the packages are being inspected by top explosive experts, and a major federal investigation is now underway. The full weight of our government is being deployed to conduct this investigation and bring those responsible for these despicable acts to justice. We will spare no resources or expense in this effort."

He continued: "In these times, we have to unify. We have 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 United States of America."

Numerous packages containing suspected explosive devices were intercepted enroute to some of the country’s most prominent political figures on Wednesday – including former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton – putting law enforcement on high alert and prompting evacuations and sweeps of facilities across the country.

In the latest incident, a law enforcement source told Fox News that U.S. Capitol Police are investigating a suspicious package addressed to Democratic California Rep. Maxine Waters. The package is at the Capitol Hill screening facility in Maryland.

"In these times, we have to unify. We have to come together."

— President Trump

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo also announced at a press conference that a "device" was sent to his Manhattan office, although the incident was later determined to be a hoax.

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CNN employees were evacuated from their New York office due to a suspicious package at the Time Warner Center. CNN said the package with a suspicious device was addressed to ex-CIA director John Brennan (who is an analyst for NBC). At the New York press conference, NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said officers on the scene identified what "appeared to be a live explosive device" as well as an envelope containing white powder, which is now being investigated.

Trump said his sentiment was "bipartisan" and the apparent attacks were "abhorrent." He specifically said he was addressing  "the suspicious packages and devices mailed to current and former high-ranking government officials," although he did not mention CNN by name. (Earlier in the day, Trump retweeted a message from Vice President Pence that also condemned the attempted attack on CNN specifically.)

"We are extremely angry, upset, unhappy about what we witnessed this morning, and we will get to the bottom of it," Trump said, before turning to discuss and sign into law a bipartisan bill to address the opioid crisis, which was the original reason for his planned appearance.

Several analysts on CNN and social media immediately criticized Trump's remarks, saying he has contributed to the declining civility in politics and should have shouldered more blame for the episode. Former Obama chief adviser Dan Pfeiffer blamed Trump for "advanc[ing] a racist conspiracy theory" about his old boss and for irresponsibly riling up his base.

For their part, Republicans have also called out Democrats for contributing to the charged political climate. Earlier this month, Clinton said it was impossible to be civil with Republicans as long as Democrats are out of power, and numerous high-ranking Republicans have been harassed in public in recent weeks. Last year, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., was nearly killed, and two others were wounded, when a left-wing gunman shouting, "This is for health care" opened fire at a GOP congressional baseball practice.

Trump is set to attend a rally in Wisconsin Wednesday night. At a rally in Montana last week, Trump drew fire from media organizations and Democrats for praising as a "tough cookie" a Republican congressman who "body slammed" a reporter from The Guardian the previous year.

Just before the president spoke at the White House, First Lady Melania Trump condemned what she called "cowardly attacks" and expressed her thanks to federal authorities.

Fox News has confirmed that forensics are now underway at the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia. The working theory of investigators appears to be that a single individual or group is behind the devices.

Fox News' Catherine Herridge and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.