DC authorities respond after white powder sent to Obama's offices

DC authorities respond after white powder sent to Obama's offices
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Authorities in Washington, D.C., responded on Tuesday after a white powdery substance was discovered in mail sent to former President Obama's offices.

D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Metropolitan Police Department said the substance was quickly cleared from the building, the headquarters for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), where Obama leases space. The substance was found to be nonhazardous. 

Police did not say where the substance came from or its intended recipient. It was discovered in the building's mailroom before authorities were called to the scene. 

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"The incident is over as far as DC Fire and EMS is concerned," Vito Maggiolo, the public information officer for D.C. Fire and EMS, told The Hill. "Whatever the substance was, it was deemed to be nonhazardous." 

Karimah Bilal, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police Department, said that the situation was cleared shortly after noon. Both the FBI and the Secret Service, which provides protection to former presidents and their spouses, were on the scene as well, she said.

Fox 5 D.C. reported that mail containing the white substance was sent to the building from Hong Kong and had no return address. The Hill could not immediately verify that report. 

 

 

Brendan Rohr, a spokesman for WWF, told The Hill that the building returned to normal operations after authorities determined that the substance was not harmful. 

"While I don’t have any further details I can confirm the mailroom received a suspicious package, appropriate procedures were followed and authorities determined it to be nothing harmful," he said in an email. "We’ve been given the all clear and the building is fully operational at this time."

Obama leased office space in the WWF headquarters in Northwest Washington in late 2016 to carry out his post-presidential work. The office is about a mile from the affluent D.C. neighborhood of Kalorama, where Obama and former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama’s book tour to include stadium events Michelle Obama teams up with BET to urge women of color to vote Healthy food has gone high end, but is the lifestyle trend worth the cost? MORE are living while their youngest daughter Sasha Obama finishes high school.

The incident came a day after President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE's daughter-in-law Vanessa Trump and her mother, Bonnie Haydon, were hospitalized as a precaution after they opened a letter containing a white powdery substance.

The letter was addressed to the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpFlake condemns Trump Jr. Instagram post mocking Kavanaugh accuser Trump Jr. campaign event looks for new venue after Montana restaurant declines to host The Hill's 12:30 Report — Kavanaugh controversy consumes Washington | Kavanaugh slated to testify Monday | Allegations shake up midterms MORE The substance was later determined to nonhazardous.

--Updated on Feb. 14 at 1:51 p.m.