President Trump blames mail bombs for hurting Republicans in midterm elections

Larry Hoffman
October 29, 2018

FBI Director Christopher Wray refused Friday to discuss a political motive for the attempted attacks, but in celebrating what he characterized as a massive co-operative effort among US law enforcement agencies, he did make clear that Sayoc's arrest marked a step in the right direction. They ordered him to the ground, Fiori said, and he did not resist.

The tweets accuse Soros of paying off a victim from the Parkland mass shooting and accusing Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, a Democrat, of being a Soros puppet.

"The account includes anti-Gillum memes, with one including the caption "$500,000 SOROS PUPPET".

Cesar Sayoc, 56, has been charged in Florida.

The presence of what was believed to be pyrotechnic powder caused investigators to believe they could detonate, but it appeared the packages were handled and moved through the postal system without an explosion. His lawyer in that case told the AP it involved a heated conversation with a Florida utility representative.

Sayoc pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year of probation, records show.

Lowy told The Associated Press that Sayoc "made a verbal threat when he was frustrated at a lack of service".

Sayoc was convicted in 2014 for grand theft and misdemeanor theft of less than $300, and in 2013 for battery.

"We will bring them to justice", President Trump said Wednesday night during a rally in Wisconsin.

The episode has sparked an outcry from Trump's critics charging that his inflammatory rhetoric against perceived enemies among Democrats and the press has fostered a climate ripe for politically motivated violence.

During a post-arrest event in the East Room of the White House, Trump was on his best behaviour, reading a prepared statement that hailed the efforts of investigators, described the crimes as "terrorizing acts" and called again for the country to come together.

"Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this "Bomb" stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows - news not talking politics", Trump tweeted.

He also put the word "bomb" in quotes, a seeming nod to those who believed the scare was a hoax.

Two law enforcement officials said Thursday that investigators have been increasingly focused on the mail streams in and out of Florida, largely since the device addressed to Holder was recovered when it was re-routed back to the return address of Wasserman Schultz.

Officials have offered no other details.

The name and location of the individual were not immediately disclosed.

The package addressed to Clapper was discovered at a sorting facility in midtown Manhattan, just blocks from where a similar device forced the evacuation Wednesday of CNN's NY newsroom and the Time Warner Center.

The targets have all been high-profile critics of the president.

Police in New York City have removed a suspicious package sent to a building owned by actor Robert De Niro.

The person was taken into custody in the Miami area, a law enforcement official said. Officials confirmed the discovery to NPR, saying the matter is under investigation.

Officers were later seen examining the van, its windows covered with stickers. The vehicle - where the suspect had reportedly been living - was decked out in Republican stickers, American flags and celebratory images of the USA president.

When Trump criticised Democrats, the crowd chanted "lock her up", a refrain from the Republican president's 2016 campaign when he called Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton "Crooked Hillary".

Investigators probing crude pipe bombs sent to prominent critics of President Donald Trump are trying to determine whether the devices were meant to detonate or simply to sow fear, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press ON Thursday.

Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said authorities planned to announce more information at a press conference. Trump long questioned Obama's United States citizenship and referred to Clinton, whom he defeated in the 2016 presidential race, as "crooked Hillary".

Authorities intercepted all packages before they were delivered to their intended targets.

On Friday, packages surfaced for Democratic U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Democratic U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California.

CNN is known for its often critical coverage of the Trump administration and has constantly provoked the ire of the president.

O'Neill told reporters there are no current or credible threats that law enforcement is aware of.

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