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Trump condemns 'political violence,' calls for national unity

President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at age 93 White House readies for Chauvin verdict MORE on Wednesday condemned "acts or threats of political violence” and called for unity after suspicious packages were mailed to a number of prominent Democratic officials.

"I just want to tell you that in these times, we have to unify. We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America,” Trump said at a White House event where he signed an anti-opioid addiction bill into law.

Trump offered his first in-person comments since authorities intercepted explosive devices addressed to former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama, Clinton reflect on Mondale's legacy Polls suggest House Democrats will buck midterm curse and add to their ranks Boehner: Mass shootings 'embarrassing our country' MORE, Bill and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' Cuba readies for life without Castro Chelsea Clinton: Pics of Trump getting vaccinated would help him 'claim credit' MORE, former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanOvernight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden's Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels Republicans blast Pentagon policy nominee over tweets, Iran nuclear deal Online and frighteningly real: 'A Taste of Armageddon' MORE and former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderVoter suppression bills are the first move in a bigger battle Holder, Yates lead letter backing Biden pick for Civil Rights Division at DOJ Senate panel dukes it out over voting rights MORE. Another suspicious package addressed to Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersWhite House readies for Chauvin verdict McCarthy to introduce resolution to censure Waters House GOP's McClain responds to Pelosi calling her 'that woman' MORE (D-Calif.) was also intercepted by police.

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Trump has explicitly criticized each individual throughout his presidency, but did not mention any of them by name when discussing Wednesday's threats.

The president also did not address criticism that he has helped contribute to the toxic political environment in the U.S.

Trump decried the acts as "egregious" and "abhorrent to everything we hold dear and sacred as Americans." A "major federal investigation" is underway, the president said.

"We are extremely angry, upset, unhappy about what we witnessed this morning and we will get to the bottom of it," Trump said.

The Department of Justice, FBI, Department of Homeland Security and Secret Service have all briefed the president on the matter, he said.

Trump stopped short, however, of labeling the suspicious packages as part of an act of "domestic terrorism," as FBI officials and top Republican lawmakers have done. 

Before Trump spoke, first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpFox News's Bret Baier posts vaccination selfie The Memo: Specter of vaccine hesitancy rises after J&J blow Trump says Prince Philip's death an 'irreplaceable loss' for UK MORE denounced the "cowardly attacks" and "those who choose violence."

"I’m grateful to the Secret Service as well as federal and local law enforcement for all they do on a daily basis to keep us safe, and encourage people across the country to choose kindness over hatred," she said.

The Secret Service said it intercepted explosive devices earlier Wednesday that were addressed to Obama, as well as Hillary and Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonObama, Clinton reflect on Mondale's legacy Polls suggest House Democrats will buck midterm curse and add to their ranks Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones calls on Breyer to retire MORE.

Authorities in New York City discovered an explosive device mailed to the offices of CNN. The package was addressed to Brennan, who is actually a contributor to NBC News and MSNBC. 

Capitol Police later in the day said they had intercepted a suspicious package mailed to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), one of Trump's most vocal critics on Capitol Hill.

A similar device was discovered in the mailbox at the home of billionaire philanthropist George Soros late Monday. Soros is an ardent supporter of liberal causes and Democratic politicians, and has been the subject of conspiracy theories pushed by far-right figures and some conservative politicians.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike were quick to condemn the threats, but some of the president's critics argued he has done more to inflame – rather than heal – the nation's political divisions. 
 
Trump has labeled Democrats an "angry mob" who pose a danger to the country, pointing to protests against Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughBiden's court-packing theater could tame the Supreme Court's conservatives Trump knocks CNN for 'completely false' report Gaetz was denied meeting NY Times beclowns itself by normalizing court-packing 'to balance the conservative majority' MORE and harassment of GOP lawmakers and administration officials at restaurants and on the street. 
 
The president last week also praised Rep. Greg GianforteGregory Richard GianfortePutting the president's pharmacy vaccine plan into action The Hill's Morning Report - Biden, McConnell agree on vaccines, clash over infrastructure Montana governor tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Mont.) for body-slamming a reporter. Gianforte last year pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault following the incident.
 
CNN President Jeff Zucker tore into Trump and the White House after the president spoke, saying they have a "total and complete lack of understanding" of "the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media."

"Their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that," Zucker said in a statement.
 
Trump is scheduled to fly Wednesday evening to Wisconsin on for a rally in support of Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Senate candidate Leah Vukmir (R). The president's campaign rallies often turn raucous, with Trump fiercely railing against the media and Democrats. Attendees regularly respond with chants of "CNN sucks" and "lock her up," the latter a reference to Hillary Clinton.
 
Prior to Wednesday's White House event, Trump had tweeted that he "wholeheartedly" agreed with Vice President Pence’s denunciation of the threats.