DC authorities respond after white powder sent to Obama's offices

DC authorities respond after white powder sent to Obama's offices
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Authorities in Washington, D.C., responded on Tuesday after a white powdery substance was discovered in mail sent to former President Obama's offices.

D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Metropolitan Police Department said the substance was quickly cleared from the building, the headquarters for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), where Obama leases space. The substance was found to be nonhazardous. 

Police did not say where the substance came from or its intended recipient. It was discovered in the building's mailroom before authorities were called to the scene. 

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"The incident is over as far as DC Fire and EMS is concerned," Vito Maggiolo, the public information officer for D.C. Fire and EMS, told The Hill. "Whatever the substance was, it was deemed to be nonhazardous." 

Karimah Bilal, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police Department, said that the situation was cleared shortly after noon. Both the FBI and the Secret Service, which provides protection to former presidents and their spouses, were on the scene as well, she said.

Fox 5 D.C. reported that mail containing the white substance was sent to the building from Hong Kong and had no return address. The Hill could not immediately verify that report. 

 

 

Brendan Rohr, a spokesman for WWF, told The Hill that the building returned to normal operations after authorities determined that the substance was not harmful. 

"While I don’t have any further details I can confirm the mailroom received a suspicious package, appropriate procedures were followed and authorities determined it to be nothing harmful," he said in an email. "We’ve been given the all clear and the building is fully operational at this time."

Obama leased office space in the WWF headquarters in Northwest Washington in late 2016 to carry out his post-presidential work. The office is about a mile from the affluent D.C. neighborhood of Kalorama, where Obama and former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama attends Beyonce and Jay-Z concert in Paris Princes Charles and William refused to meet Trump: report Queen Elizabeth greets Trump for first visit to UK as president MORE are living while their youngest daughter Sasha Obama finishes high school.

The incident came a day after President TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn't dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' MORE's daughter-in-law Vanessa Trump and her mother, Bonnie Haydon, were hospitalized as a precaution after they opened a letter containing a white powdery substance.

The letter was addressed to the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpTrump Jr. mocks the 'resistance' over 'baby blimp' in London Mueller: Russian officers launched leaks website in June 2016 Teen who had his MAGA hat stolen gets one signed by Trump MORE The substance was later determined to nonhazardous.

--Updated on Feb. 14 at 1:51 p.m.