Trump condemns 'political violence,' calls for national unity

President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' 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 ObamaCombatting fake news on social media will take a village Is Trudeau on the verge of a shocking reversal of fortune? Even with likely Trump impeachment, Democrats face uphill climb to win presidency MORE, Bill and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton trolls Trump with mock letter from JFK to Khrushchev Trump-Graham relationship tested by week of public sparring Sunday shows — Mulvaney seeks to tamp down firestorm over quid pro quo comments, Doral decision MORE, former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanFederal prosecutors interviewed multiple FBI officials for Russia probe review: report Trump denies knowledge of Barr meeting in Italy, says it would be appropriate Krystal Ball defends praise of Yang: I am not 'a Russian plant' MORE and former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderAmash: Trump incorrect in claiming Congress didn't subpoena Obama officials We can't allow presidents and public opinion to further diminish the work of the press Democrats sue over North Carolina's congressional maps MORE. Another suspicious package addressed to Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Hillicon Valley: FCC approves T-Mobile-Sprint merger | Dems wrangle over breaking up Big Tech at debate | Critics pounce as Facebook's Libra stumbles | Zuckerberg to be interviewed by Fox News | Twitter details rules for political figures' tweets On The Money: Tax, loan documents for Trump properties reportedly showed inconsistencies | Tensions flare as Dems hammer Trump consumer chief | Critics pounce as Facebook crypto project stumbles 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 TrumpMelania Trump breaks ground on new White House tennis pavilion Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Buttigieg unveils aggressive plan to lower drug prices | Supreme Court abortion case poses major test for Trump picks | Trump takes heat from right over vaping crackdown Kroger to stop sales of e-cigarettes at stores 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 ClintonHouse Democrat pledges 'there will be open hearings' in impeachment inquiry Democrats dig in ahead of Supreme Court ruling on 'Dreamers' Even with likely Trump impeachment, Democrats face uphill climb to win presidency 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 KavanaughOn The Money: Supreme Court takes up challenge to CFPB | Warren's surge brings scrutiny to wealth tax | Senators eye curbs on Trump emergency powers Supreme Court agrees to hear challenge to consumer agency First-generation American launches Senate campaign against Booker 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 GianforteHere are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 House Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 House GOP fears retirement wave will lead to tsunami 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.