Trump condemns 'political violence,' calls for national unity

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms BuzzFeed stands by Cohen report: Mueller should 'make clear what he's disputing' 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 ObamaPompeo’s retreat into chaos Barack Obama wishes Michelle a happy birthday: 'You’re one of a kind' NY Times prints special section featuring women of the 116th Congress MORE, Bill and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms Special counsel issues rare statement disputing explosive Cohen report MORE, former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanBrennan calls on Congress to end shutdown before negotiating border security: Not 'subservient' to the president Washington’s reflexive opposition to Trump on Syria Brennan hopes GOP abandons Trump in 2019 over 'malfeasance, corruption' MORE and former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderHolder: If Trump directed Cohen to lie, impeachment proceedings ‘must begin’ William Barr's only 'flaw' is that he was nominated by Trump Protecting voices of all voters is critical to free and fair elections MORE. Another suspicious package addressed to Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersNew progressive sheriffs in town ready to fight for Main Street On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction Financial system can forge bipartisanship in Congress 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 TrumpOvernight Defense: Trump says he won't declare emergency 'so fast' | Shutdown on track to become longest ever | Military begins withdrawing equipment from Syria | Bolton taps new deputy Bolton names replacement for deputy who clashed with first lady The Hill's Morning Report — Groundhog Day: Negotiations implode as shutdown reaches 20 days 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 ClintonAgency function is tied to how people feel about their job — that's bad news for USDA research 5 myths about William Barr Dems should follow Bill Clinton's lead on minimum wage hike 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 KavanaughMerriam-Webster tweets out definition of 'suborn' after BuzzFeed report on Michael Cohen Abortion foes march into divided Washington GOP pollster says last minute enthusiasm saved Republicans in some midterm races MORE and harassment of GOP lawmakers and administration officials at restaurants and on the street. 
 
 
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.