WASHINGTON (AP) — Suspicious packages addressed to actor Robert De Niro and former Vice President Joe Biden were intercepted Thursday, and investigators said they were similar to crude pipe bombs sent to former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and CNN.
None of the devices exploded and no one was injured, but the packages, sent to prominent Democrats critical of President Donald Trump, underscored the heightened political tensions and fears two weeks before national midterm elections.
Police said the package recovered in Manhattan addressed to De Niro, who dropped an expletive insult at Trump at this year’s Tony Awards, was similar to the other pipe bombs recovered this week. De Niro had also apologized to Canadians for the “idiotic behavior of my president.”
Biden has also criticized Trump, as recently as last week, saying Trump may not “know what he’s doing” and coddles dictators.
A law enforcement source said the package addressed to Biden was intercepted at a Delaware mail facility and was similar to the others. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Suspicious packages have been seized in New York, Washington, D.C., Florida and California.
Trump still assails Clinton at rallies while supporters chant “lock her up” — two years after he defeated her. He also often singles out cable news network CNN and other news media whose reporting he does not like, terming them “fake news.”
On Thursday, without directly referencing the explosive devices, Trump again blamed the media for the “anger” in society.
“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,” he said in a morning Tweet. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”
Hours earlier, he took a softer tone at a rally in Wisconsin Wednesday night.
“Let’s get along,” he said. “By the way, do you see how nice I’m behaving tonight? Have you ever seen this?”
The attacks overtook other news in an already-tense political season that could reshape Congress and serve as a referendum on the first two years of Trump’s presidency.
The bombs seized Wednesday, each with a small battery, were about six inches long and packed with powder and broken glass, said a law enforcement official who viewed X-ray images and spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
The official said the devices were made from PVC pipe and covered with black tape.