The Hill's 12:30 Report: Explosives sent to Obamas, Clintons, CNN | White House condemns attempted attacks

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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill's 12:30 Report: Breaking: Explosives mailed to Clintons, Obamas, CNN | Time Warner building in NY evacuated | CNN broadcasts from the street | White House, lawmakers condemn attempted attacks | Saudi crown prince calls Khashoggi's death a 'heinous crime' | Trump insists GOP will totally protect pre-existing condition protections | Rosenstein's House interview postponed | Trump rally in Wisconsin tonight



Explosives were sent to the Clintons and the Obamas; a suspicious package was sent to CNN at the Time Warner Center:

Earlier this morning, explosives were sent to the homes of former President Obama in Washington D.C., and Bill and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Ex-Clinton aide: Dems should make 2020 'about integrity' Trump mounts Rust Belt defense MORE in Chappaqua, N.Y.

And then while CNN was on air reporting about the suspicious packages, a fire alarm went off at CNN's New York bureau at the Time Warner Center in New York because a suspicious package, which was addressed to former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanThe wisdom of Trump's lawyers, and the accountability that must follow Mueller's report Ex-CIA director blasts Trump over 'temper tantrums' Ex-CIA director: 'I don't have any doubt' Trump will pardon Manafort MORE, was found in the building's mail room.

Police also just confirmed that the Florida congressional office of Rep. Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzGOP turns Venezuela into Florida attack line Dem lawmakers unveil Journalist Protection Act amid Trump attacks on media Trump's emergency declaration looms over Pentagon funding fight MORE, the former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman, has been evacuated because of reports of a suspicious package.

What to watch at 12:45 p.m.: The New York Police Department is holding a press conference in the incident at Time Warner Center. Livestream:



A pipe bomb was found in the mailbox of billionaire liberal philanthropist George Soros's home on Monday.



What we know about these devices:

Did the Clintons or Obamas come into contact with the packages?: No. The Secret Service said in a statement that neither family received the packages and were not at risk of receiving them.

Read the full Secret Service statement on the incident:

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders weighed in: Sanders called the attacks "despicable." In her words: "We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures."

Garrett Haake added: "Probably the second most-protected block in DC, after 1600 Penn."

Happening outside the Obamas' residence right now: "Secret service now screening media gear outside the Obamas' residence." Photo



Video of the fire alarm initially going off on-air: CNN's Jim Sciutto and Poppy Harlow were anchoring.

What then happened on CNN: CNN's Washington bureau took over the broadcast until CNN's Jim Sciutto and Poppy Harlow called in from the street. Video of the CNN anchors on the street:

Photo of CNN employees evacuating: "Everyone at CNN NY being evacuated. Swarms of NYPD outside -- I wasn't allowed to grab a coat or any of my belongings -- told to immediately go to staircase." (Via CNN's MJ LeePhoto:   

Photo of police outside the CNN building:

Tidbit -- photo of the bomb containment unit: The truck to contain the potential explosive device has arrived. Photo:

Photo of the bomb squad arriving:


Photo of CNN staff working at a nearby restaurant: With the caption, "This is CNN." Photo:

An emergency alert was sent to people nearby: Screenshot of the alert for residents to "shelter in place immediately."

Keep in mind: The CNN package was addressed to former CIA director John Brennan, who is a critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Countdown clock is on for Mueller conclusions Omar: White supremacist attacks are rising because Trump publicly says 'Islam hates us' MORE, but Brennan has a contract with MSNBC and NBC, not CNN. 

What Columbus Circle looks like as of 12:30 p.m.: Keep in mind, the incident at CNN started a little after 10 a.m. Photo:



That is false. There were reports earlier this morning that another suspicious package was sent to the White House, but the Secret Service clarified that no such package has been found.

The Secret Service tweeted at 11:08 a.m.: "CLARIFICATION: At this time the Secret Service has intercepted TWO suspicious packages - one in NY and one in D.C. Reports of a third intercepted package addressed to the [White House] are incorrect." Read the full Secret Service statement:



Vice President Pence denounces 'cowardly actions': "We condemn the attempted attacks against [former] Pres Obama, the Clintons, @CNN & others. These cowardly actions are despicable & have no place in this Country. Grateful for swift response of @SecretService, @FBI & local law enforcement. Those responsible will be brought to justice."

^President Trump chimed in, responding directly to Pence’s tweet: “I agree wholeheartedly!”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the attacks "despicable": "These terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. The United States Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies are investigating and will take all appropriate actions to protect anyone threatened by these cowards."

Chelsea Clinton praises Secret Service: "Every day, I am grateful to the women and men of the United States Secret Service. Thank you."

First Daughter Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpFive things we know about Dems' sprawling Trump probe Kushner to cooperate with Judiciary document requests Hillicon Valley: Kushner accused of using WhatsApp, personal email for official work | White House rejects request for Trump-Putin communications | Facebook left 'hundreds of millions' of passwords unsecured | Tech pressured to root out extremism MORE: “I strongly condemn the attempted acts of violence against President Obama, the Clinton family, @CNN & others. There is no excuse—America is better than this. Gratitude to the @SecretService and law enforcement for all they do to keep this nation safe.”


It's Wednesday. I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to, @CateMartel and on Facebook.



Aye aye!:

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death a "heinous crime." In MBS's words: "The crime was really painful to all Saudis, and I believe it is painful to every human in the world. It is a heinous crime that cannot be justified. Today Saudi Arabia is carrying out all legal things to finalize the investigation to work with the, cooperate with the Turkish government and to present the perpetrators to the court and take their judgment."

Why my headline was a bit sarcastic: The Saudi crown prince is suspected of involvement in Khashoggi's death. Yesterday, President Trump stepped up his rhetoric against the kingdom and his administration announced punitive steps against the Saudis.


I can't read this quote without Trump's face morphing into 'Crush' in my head:
--> ;)

This morning, President Trump insisted that Republicans will "totally" protect people with pre-existing conditions. He tweeted: "Republicans will totally protect people with Pre-Existing Conditions, Democrats will not! Vote Republican."

What sparked this tweet: Democrats have been using the GOP's attempts to repeal ObamaCare as a line of attack in the midterms. 

Keep in mind: "Trump last year supported GOP ObamaCare repeal bills that would have weakened protections for pre-existing conditions. The House GOP bill, for example, allowed states to get waivers to allow insurers to spike premiums for people with pre-existing conditions."



No longer happening tomorrow -- Rosenstein's meeting was postponed:

House Republicans have decided to postpone a closed-door interview with Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinWill the Mueller report go public? The courts, not Barr, may ultimately decide Mueller figures celebrate end of probe Showdown looms over Mueller report MOREwhich was set for Wednesday. 

Who postponed it: Reps. Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteTop Republican releases full transcript of Bruce Ohr interview It’s time for Congress to pass an anti-cruelty statute DOJ opinion will help protect kids from dangers of online gambling MORE (R-Va.) and Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyTop Republican releases full transcript of Bruce Ohr interview Gowdy calls congressional hearings like Cohen's 'utterly useless' The family secret Bruce Ohr told Rod Rosenstein about Russia case MORE (R-S.C.), the chairmen of the House Judiciary and the House Oversight and Government Reform committees, repectively.

Why: The chairmen said in a statement, "The Committees are unable to ask all questions of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein within the time allotted for tomorrow's transcribed interview, therefore, the interview will be postponed." 

Why Rosenstein was testifying: The New York Times report last month that Rosenstein proposed secretly taping President Trump and discussed the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office. Rosenstein has denied the story. Read the original report:


'Build a bridge and get over it'


Chinese President Xi Jinping just opened the world's longest sea bridge. The 34-mile bridge connects China, Hong Kong and Macau. Photo and video -- it's beautiful:




James ComeyJames Brien ComeyHarry Reid slams Comey for Russia election meddling If Mueller's report lacks indictments, collusion is a delusion Conservatives wage assault on Mueller report MORE is enjoying this:


These photos are great:

The full-size photos:



The House and Senate are out until after the midterms. 

Today: Vice President Pence campaigns in Scranton, Pa., Lancaster, Pa., and Norfolk, Va.

2 p.m. EDT: President Trump gives remarks on the opioid crisis. 

4:50 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for Mosinee, Wis., for a campaign rally.

11:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump gets back to the White House.



7:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally. Livestream:



Today is National Bologna Day.


Fun fact:

Here's the behind-the-scenes story of filming the opening credits for "Friends." Refinery29 called the true story "both hilarious & depressing."


And because we could use a bit of lighter news today, meet Henry the tortoise. Henry is trying to pick out his Halloween costume for this year. Here are the options:

Which is your favorite? Let me know.