U.S. NEWS

CNN New York Headquarters Evacuated Due To 'Suspicious Package'

The NYPD bomb squad removed what appeared to be a pipe bomb from Time Warner Center in Manhattan.

NEW YORK ― Authorities were investigating a package containing a pipe bomb and white powder at CNN’s New York offices on Wednesday amid a flurry of suspicious devices sent to prominent Democrats.

Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle, where CNN’s New York headquarters is located, was evacuated after the package was discovered around 9 a.m. in the mailroom, officials said. It was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, CNN reported.

Brennan, a contributor for NBC and MSNBC, does not for work for CNN. Time Warner Center also contains other offices, a Whole Foods supermarket and several high-end retail shops and restaurants, including Masa and Per Se.

The device, constructed with a pipe and wires, is similar to other devices sent earlier Wednesday to Hillary and Bill Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, New York, and to former President Barack Obama’s office in Washington. 

Police on Wednesday were also investigating suspicious packages sent to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, as well as to former Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The package directed to Wasserman Schultz’s office was first sent to the office of former Attorney General Eric Holder. Wasserman Schultz was reportedly listed as the return sender on many of the packages.

The series of threats Wednesday came after police on Monday night began investigating a package containing an explosive device at the home of prominent Democratic donor George Soros, a frequent target of right-wing, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

NYPD removed the Time Warner Center device and transported it in a containment truck to a facility in the Bronx, according to CNN. Photos of the package and device obtained by ABC News and CNN show a manilla envelope addressed to John Brennan at “Time Warner (CNN).”

Speaking on CNN Wednesday evening, Brennan made the argument that President Donald Trump’s rhetoric around the media and political enemies may encourage such attempts at violence. 

“Unfortunately, I think Donald Trump too often has helped to incite some of these feelings of anger, if not violence,” Brennan said.

During a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio called the packages “an act of terror.” 

“What we saw here today was an effort to terrorize, clearly an act of terror attempting to undermine our free press and leaders in this country with acts of violence,” de Blasio said. “I want to make clear the people of New York will not be intimidated, we will go about our lives undeterred because the very concept to terrorism is to change us and we will not allow that to happen.”

New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill said an envelope containing white powder was also found with the package at CNN. NYPD is investigating the substance, he said at an afternoon news conference.

President Trump said he was “extremely angry, upset, unhappy” about the series of packages and pledged to “get to the bottom of it.”

“In these times we have to unify, we have to come together and send one very clear strong and unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence have no place in the United States of America,” Trump said during an event at the White House.

CNN chief Jeff Zucker said in a statement to employees Wednesday morning that the New York building was evacuated out of “an abundance of caution, as a result of a suspicious package having been received in the mailroom.”

“The NYPD is on scene, and we are working closely with them to take every precaution,” Zucker said. “We are also checking all bureaus around the world, out of a complete abundance of caution.”

He encouraged employees to leave the area if it would make them “feel more comfortable.”

“Your safety is our top priority, and we will communicate again shortly,” he said.

Zucker told staff in a later email that all CNN bureaus had been checked, and no other devices were found.

Alarms could be heard sounding in CNN’s newsroom as hosts Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto broadcast live about the suspicious packages sent to the Clintons and Obamas.

NYPD intelligence, counterterrorism and explosives teams were increasing their attention on high-profile New York locations, including those involving the media, a police source told HuffPost.

Photos taken by CNN staffers and bystanders showed a heavy police presence at Columbus Circle.

“I am always proud to work at @CNN. But especially today,” tweeted CNN reporter Elizabeth Landers. “My colleagues are continuing to report, staying calm and factual as they deliver the news from the street outside of our NY bureau. Utmost professionalism- thank you.”

Jenna Amatulli and Marina Fang contributed reporting.

This story has been updated with comments by John Brennan. 

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