Trump condemns 'political violence,' calls for national unity

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' 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 ObamaTrump has 62 percent disapproval rating in new AP poll Rising Warren faces uphill climb with black voters Obama explains decision to get into movie business: 'We all have a sacred story' MORE, Bill and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPoll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump touts new immigration policy, backtracks on tax cuts Hickenlooper announces Senate bid MORE, former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanWebb: Questions for Robert Mueller A brief timeline of Trump's clashes with intelligence director Dan Coats Trump critic Brennan praises his Iran decision: I 'applaud' him MORE and former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderJuan Williams: Democrats finally hit Trump where it hurts GOP governor vetoes New Hampshire bill to create independent redistricting commission Why target Tucker Carlson? It's part of the left's war on the right MORE. Another suspicious package addressed to Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersBank watchdogs approve rule to loosen ban on risky Wall Street trades F-bombs away: Why lawmakers are cursing now more than ever Banks give Congress, New York AG documents related to Russians who may have dealt with Trump: report 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 TrumpEx-Melania Trump adviser raised concerns of excessive inauguration spending weeks before events: CNN The Hill's Morning Report - Trump moves green cards, citizenship away from poor, low-skilled White House seeks volunteers, musicians for Christmas celebrations 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 ClintonPoll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona Ben Shapiro: No prominent GOP figure ever questioned Obama's legitimacy The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump tries to reassure voters on economy 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 KavanaughMcConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster Collins downplays 2020 threat: 'Confident' reelection would go well if she runs The exhaustion of Democrats' anti-Trump delusions 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 GianforteHouse Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 House GOP fears retirement wave will lead to tsunami Trump declares Gorka 'wins big' after clash with reporters in Rose Garden 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.