tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN October 24, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. we're following breaking news on a coordinated attempt to bomb and potentially kill the obamas, the clintons and other former and current government officials, as well as employees of cnn's offices in new york city where hundreds and hundreds of people were evacuated. new york's mayor is calling it an act of terror. first, pipe bombs were detected at the clinton's home in chappaqua, new york, and the obama's home here in washington, d.c. then a bomb addressed to the former cia director john brennan was detected at cnn's time warner center in new york city. similar devices were sent to the former obama attorney general erik holder -- eric holder, debbie wasserman schultz as well as democratic congresswoman maxine waters, addition, democratic megadonor george soros was a target of this bomb.
president trump is denouncing as despicable calling for the nation to unify. he never mentioned, though, that he has personally, and very publicly criticized all of those bombing targets. this hour, i'll speak with new york's governor, andrew cuomo and our correspondents and analysts are also standing by. first, let's go to our national correspondent, miguel marquez, he's in new york for us. a major federal investigation into these pipe bombs is now underway. >> reporter: huge investigation, and the number one question out there for them, are there more pipe bombs out there, are more on the way to different locations? a nationwide hunt for whoever is responsible now underway. this is the pipe bomb sent to cnn's new york offices. >> what we saw here today was an effort to terrorize. this clearly is an act of terror, attempting to undermine our free press and leaders of
this country through acts of violence. >> reporter: the nypd says the live explosive device was discovered at the columbus circle. >> responding officers identified a device that appeared to be a live explosive device. additionally there was an envelope containing white powder that was discovered as part of that original packaging. >> reporter: it was addressed to former cia director john brennan who has appeared on cnn air but is not a cnn contributor. the package was one of many discovered in multiple locations addressed to prominent democrats, including former president barack obama and former presidential candidate hillary clinton. the incident at cnn unfolded on live television shortly after 10:00 a.m. when a fire alarm could be heard going off on air. >> they were explosive devices and to have projectiles, that sound like a fire alarm here. we'll keep you posted on that. tom fuentes, if you're still
hearing us here, they're connected now? >> a minute later, cnn anchors pop poppy harlow and jim sciutto were evacuating headquartering along with hundreds of employees, and tourists and new yorkers touring the building. >> we're going to find out what the latest is here. >> we'll be right back. >> reporter: about two hours later, the new york police department removed the bomb from the building in a specialized truck. another bomb was addressed to former president barack obama's home in d.c., the secret service found it during a routine mail screening before it was sent to the house. and another was mailed to former president bill and hillary clinton's home just north of new york city. it, too, was intercepted by the secret service. a bomb sent to a former attorney general eric holder had the wrong address and was returned to democratic congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz's office in florida. that was the return label listed on the package.
a suspicious package addressed to democratic congresswoman maxine waters was discovered at a congressional sorting facility in maryland, and on monday, wealthy democratic donor, george soros also received a bomb. a law enforcement official tells cnn that the initial examination of all the devices shows them to be constructed similarly, at least one of the devices appeared to contain projectiles including shards of glass. the devices are rudimentary but functional. now, whoever is sending these bombs is clearly sending a message as well. for the holder bomb, the bombs to obamas, to the clintons, soros, and the package sent to brennan here at cnn today, all of them had the same return address, that of the former dnc chair, debbie wasserman schultz, so clearly whoever is doing it is sending a very obvious political message. wolf. >> certainly indeed. thank you very much, miguel marquez in new york. let's bring in our justice correspondent, evan perez, he
has been working the story all day long. what are you learning from the investigators as we speak right now? >> reporter: the fbi lab is examining some of the initial devices. you know the first device found was the one found at the home of george soros in west chester county, new york, that one is already in the hands of the encounterer terrorism investigator -- counter terrorism investigators of the fbi. the other in new york that was delivered to the cnn studios there, that one is still in the hands of the nypd but we expect that will also be sent down, and what they are going to look for, they're going to take them apart, they're going to try to see what they can learn, whether there are any finger prints on some of the tape that was found on there, whether the stamps might be able to tell anything about when these stamps were bought, where it was mailed, the ones that were mailed. these are things that the u.s. postal service is very very good at tracking and figuring out, for instance, which mail facilities would have handled this, and the case of at least the soros device, the device that was found at the home of
george soros, we're told that that one appeared to have been hand delivered in the mailbox, so perhaps there would be fewer finger prints than if it was handled by different mail carriers, for instance. there's a lot of clues that the fbi and investigators working this can go on based on the devices themselves. >> the devices were apparently very very similar, all of them, how dangerous, based on all the information you're getting were these bombs? >> they were pipe bombs. these are real pipe bombs. at least the ones that have been examined, there was a sulfuric substance that appeared to be what would go off if it was disturbed. it was designed to go off. so the question is this a bomb maker who is so sophisticated that they knew exactly how they were doing it, or, you know, to make sure that they were sending their message but perhaps not hurt anyone or was this someone who was inept at their bomb making and simply none of these devices that we have counted now, six of them was able to go
off. so that's the big question for investigators, we're told that these were rudimentary devices. this is the kind of stuff that you can learn from looking at videos on you tube, however, people could have gotten hurt here. >> how are investigators, you know, looking right now at this as a potential act of terror? >> well, that's the way it's being treated. the jtf, the joint terrorism task force in new york which has the investigation fully open, they're handling it as a domestic terror incident. obviously that's not presuming there couldn't be other things that could turn up in this investigation, wolf, but that's where they begin at this point. and right now, those are the clues they are working with is this is a domestic terror incident, and this is a serial bombing attempt in the united states, so they're treating it very very seriously. >> all six of these bombs were similar? >> all of them were similar. all of them had the labels that they appeared to have come from debbie wasserman schultz, a congresswoman there in florida.
in the case of the one that was sent to eric holder, he had the wrong address, so the device or the package was returned to sender in this case, was sent to debbie wasserman schultz's office in sunrise, florida, that's the similarity, and the devices themselves from what we have been told, they have been examined, every one of them appeared to be of the similar make, the similar build, so whoever is doing this, it's the same skill set that put it together. >> and the suspected package, the bomb sent to congresswoman maxine waters, also similar? >> that one is still being examined to see whether it is of this exact build or whether it's something different. again, that's something that the fbi and the u.s. capitol police are still going through. that, right now, it appears to be similar, and so they're treating it in that fashion, wolf, but obviously it's got some of the same similarities, right, she is somebody who has been critical of this administration. let me just say something. let me pause a little bit here
and say that at this point, investigators do not know who did this. they do not know whether it's someone on the left who is trying to make sure that someone, that the right is blamed for this, or if it's someone on the right who is trying to harm people on the left. they simply do not know. right now, for investigators, everything is still on the table for them. >> they're looking at all these various opportunities. >> right. >> thanks very much, evan, we'll get back to you. i want to go back to new york city, cnn's kate baldwin is on the scene. you have been there all day, you have been reporting on what's going on. you have been talking to police and investigators. i understand you have the new york city police commissioner with you right now. >> reporter: thank you so much, wolf, police commissioner james o'neill is joining me right now. thank you so much for taking the time tonight. what is the very latest on the investigation that you can share with us this evening. >> as i said at the press
conference before, we're not going to go too deep into where we are. i want all new yorkers to know the joint task force continues with this investigation, we have the device removed from cnn to our bomb squad headquarters up in the bronx, and we're working with the fbi and their bomb teches to make sure it's brought down to be examined and find out who perpetrated this crime. >> reporter: the mayor said today he thinks there could be more out there. is that what you're working with now? do you believe there could be? >> well, i'm not sure if it's what i believe. but this is open ended. last night we had one, and then we have six. so we have to operate under the assumption that there are more out there, and that's why we need, quite frankly, all new yorkers to pay attention to what's going on in the city. go about your lives but pay attention to what comes in your mail. if you work in an office building, if you work in a mail room, pay attention to what's
coming in. we're working with the postal service to see if anymore of these packages show up. it's a great effort by the nypd. the initial response this morning was just how it's supposed to work. we had some heads-up people in cnn, cnn security called 911, and inspector showed up, a sergeant showed up and requested the bomb squad to get everybody safely to remove the device. >> are you looking through videos, surveillance camera video. there's so many cameras in and around the building, of course, commissioner. how much can that help you if you see anything that can give you any sort of lead this evening? >> as in any investigation we do in 2018, there's everything on video. so the video canvass are being done, and i'm sure it will be helpful in this situation as it has been in so many in the past. >> reporter: it's believed it was a courier who brought the package to cnn.
is that on video? is that person, you think, going to be caught on video? >> yeah, i'm pretty sure those images will be caught on video and we'll be able to find out where that person came from before they entered the building and where they went to after. this is, of course, you know, manhattan and there are video cameras everywhere. >> reporter: are you looking for one person or do you think you're looking at a team of people tonight? >> not really sure. this is the initial stage of the investigation. so wherever that leads us, that's where we're going to go, whether it's one person or a network. not really sure at this point. >> reporter: commissioner can you help us understand how big of a man hunt this is tonight? >> you have the best people in the world, the best people in law enforcement on this. you have the joint terrorism task force which is comprised of the fbi, which we continue to have a great relationship with, and we have nypd detectives and people from the state police, and if we do identify someone, and that will be done quite certain that will be done within
the next few days, and we'll put the right people on it to make sure there's an apprehension made as quickly as possible. >> reporter: you described it as a live explosive, and also described as rudimentary, but functional device. rudimentary, yes, but could it have killed someone? >> we treated it as a live explosive device, capable of injuring or possibly killing someone. that's the way the bomb squad does their business. i give so much credit to the bomb squad detectives and just from your cameras alone, you see the bomb squad detective suited up, going in with the case, removing it, bringing it to the total containment vehicle, and bringing it to the bronx, of course we treat it as a live explosive device. >> reporter: commissioner, i know you have to go. you're very busy. we're going to bring in wolf blitzer. he has a question as well. >> thank you, kate. commissioner, what's your message to new yorkers tonight? >> my message to new york is
that the nypd, what is our job? our job is to fight crime. keep people safe. more importantly it's to make people feel safe. go about your lives but pay attention to what's going on around you, whether it's this instance with the packages that are being mailed across the country or any day. anything you can do to help us keep the city safe, if you see something out there that makes you uncomfortable, dial 911, flag down a cop, give us the chance to fully investigate it, and that's how we're going to make new york city the safest large city in america. >> you do amazing work up there. we're grateful to you. commissioner thank you so much for joining us. >> thanks, wolf. >> kate, thanks to you as well. excellent, terrific reporting all day outside the time warner center. we're grateful to you as well. appreciate it very much. all right, let's get more reaction now, joining us the new york governor, andrew cuomo. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you for having me, wolf. >> so you're deploying, i
understand, a hundred national guard troops, doubling security at some key sigtes in new york, throughout the state, west chester county where the clintons clearly live. what is the ongoing threat right now? >> we don't know what the ongoing threat is right now. we don't know that there won't be more of these devices that are showing up. our point with the deployment is we want to make sure the terrorist act doesn't succeed, terrorist act only succeeds if people are terrorized with fear, et cetera. we have the best law enforcement agencies on the globe, and we are deploying them. you'll see more national guards, more state police, nypd, they'll be in the tunnels, subways, et cetera. we want people to know they're safe, we're on it, there's protection, and that's the point of the deployment.
i don't know that the deployment will actually help in the investigation which is ongoing, which will be more a function of analyzing the mailings themselves, the bombs themselves, which the fbi, the jttf is doing. to see where we get from there. >> but you clearly have authorities on alert right now for the possibility of discovering more bombs? >> no doubt about it. you know, this has continually grown, right. it started with the soros residence, which was in west chester county. we handled that, and then it was president clinton and hillary rodham clinton's residence last night. also in west chester county, and obviously this morning, your shop, cnn, and then we've been finding out about the others. so you don't know where the string ends, right, and again it's not just new york.
this has been all across the country. there is an apparent political motivation to it. we don't want to say definitively until the investigation is done. if you look at the pattern, it's apparently political. listening to your broadcast, wolf, this takes us to a whole new chapter in terrorism, right? your last reporter said well, this appears to be domestic terroris talk about terrorism, e have always talked about it in the international context. even domestic terrorism was committed domestically but normally had an international component, right? this is a different definition of terrorism. this is political terrorism. this would be, if it turns out,
political terrorism, left or right, democrat or republican, but this takes us to a new chapter, and frankly, in some ways, a more frightening chapter. because it is internal to the united states. what it's saying is we have gotten so vitriolic, so angry, so hate filled, that our politics has actually gotten to the point where we're looking to harm one another. now, the bomb that we're talking about seemed to be aimed at people on the quote unquote left. my office received a package which turns out to be the exact opposite. it was a person who was irate at the right. the republicans in new york invited a group called the proud boys last week. the proud boys, and i hate to even give them publicity,
they're a hate group. they call themselves western sha chauvinists, they're white supremacists and they had a forum in new york, there was violence afterwards, many people were offended by their presence, and the package my office received was information on the proud boys. so you actually have on one day both sides aggravated, angry, hostile, hateful to the other, and that's where we've gotten as a nation, and that, my friend, is more sobering than anything else. >> governor, the package that you guys got in your office in new york city included hateful material, but certainly was not similar to a bomb which we saw at these other locations in new york and west chester here in
washington as well. >> no doubt. >> as you know, governor, the package that was sent to cnn's office in new york at the time warner center, columbus circle, was delivered by courier. the package to george soros's new york home up in west chester county, that wasn't mailed either. it was put in a mailbox. somebody put it there. do you believe the perpetrator or the perpetrators right now, and i know there's a massive man hunt underway, are still in your state of new york? >> look, you simply don't know. we're working on that assumption, but you simply don't know. there could have been a network, and my point is, wolf, of course, a bomb is more dangerous than sending a package of negative material, but the point is you are at that point of political volatility where we now have political terrorism where our dialogue, our discussion, our debate, has
gotten so ugly, so mean, so fierce that both sides are enraged, and that is what is frightening. we've gotten to a point of democrat/republican, red and blue, and we've forgotten that it's really red, white and blue, and that we're still one nation, and we have political differences and we always have, but that's not supposed to split the union. this is not a civic war that we're engaged in. and that the rhetoric has to come down. leaders have to take responsibility because you're seeing the fruits of this angry rhetoric. it does have an effect. i'll give you one other fact that's frightening. the number of anti-semitic attacks in new york have increased 90% between 2016 and 2017, 90%. anti-semitic. now, there hasn't even been much
discussion about jewish people involved. why won't anti-se mettmitic att go up high, once you demonize differences, you lose control. this is a nation of differences, whether we like it or not, that's how we were founded. we are all immigrants at one time except the native americans. and once you make diversity and differences the demon, now we are in real trouble because it's injecting a cancer into the body politic where literally one cell feeds on the other, and we are precariously close to that cliff. >> it is a very very dangerous and scary situation indeed. as you know, governor, president trump today he condemned the attempted terror attacks, but he never mentioned any of those individuals or organizations like cnn, for example, that were
targeted. he never mentioned them by name. what was your reaction to what you heard from the president of the united states? >> look, i think it's nice that he expressed concern. but we have to get beyond that. we know why this is happening. anyone who has followed the political debate over the past two years knows why this is happening. we're two weeks from a heated election. it's an election that could change the course of the country. and we have been hyperbolic. there has been meanness, a everything is overly hyperbolic and rhetorical. there are bad people. there are mobs. it's chaos. that level of hatred and venom has communicated and people are
emotional beings, and you're seeing the product of that rhetoric. i think that's undeniable. and i hope, i hope that anyone with any responsibility who believes in their role as an elected leader, which is to serve the public and when they take an oath, by the way, they don't say i'm president of the united states. i'm governor, and i'm here to serve the republicans, or i'm here to serve the democrats, i'm governor of the state of new york. i serve all the people of the state of new york, democrat, republican, liberal, conservative, i don't care, and division and anger and hatred is contagious, and we are a nation of differences and we've demonized those differences and they can destroy us if we don't stop. >> governor cuomo, thank you so much for joining us, and good luck to you. good luck to all the law enforcement, and other counter terrorism officials who are
searching now this massive man hunt underway for the suspect or suspects of this terror plot. appreciate it very much. good luck. >> and wolf, one point to you, i want to thank jeff zucker and everyone at cnn for your cooperation this morning. i know it was very disruptive to cnn's operation, but thank you for cooperating with us. >> it's a very very scary situation, and there were hundreds of people at the cnn bureau this new york at the time warner center, but not just at cnn. as you know, there are a lot of other people who work in the stores, the restaurants, the shops over there, and it was disruptive of all of those people and it's a very very worrisome situation, and the targets, as you know, governor, of these bombs, they wouldn't necessarily even be the targets but so many other people who would have to deal with it, postal workers, clerks, law enforcements, they could be killed in the process as well. governor, cuomo, thanks, once again for joining us. >> thank you.
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and the book is free. we're following breaking news, the ongoing fbi investigation to find out who sent pipe bombs to cnn's new york offices, the clintons, the obamas and other prominent public figures. let's bring in our justice correspondent evan perez who's getting new reporting. what are you learning? >> that's right, wolf, at this point, one of the things the
investigators are doing is taking apart the pipe bombs and one of the things they have noticed is the use of a sulfur material. they want to see what the source of it is. it is the thing they could use to cause explosion, and this is why the fbi, and the counter terrorism investigators who are handling this is handling this as a domestic terror incident, simply because these bombs, these pipe bombs are inherently unstable, just by handling them, you could set it off, and so that's the great concern here is that someone is a serial bomber who's been sending these things through the mail, and is trying to cause some harm here, and they're trying to figure out, make sure, one, that there's no others that are in route somewhere and number two, to try to find this person as soon as possible. >> and so fbi counter terrorism investigators, they have now taken the lead of this investigation? >> right, they have taken the lead of this investigation, beginning with the soros bomb. >> the george soros. >> the george soros bomb that was found two nights ago. they very quickly realized this was something that was of national importance.
>> because these multiple, very similar bombs were discovered, very disturbing, could have killed a lot of people. all right, evan, we're going to get back to you. you're working your sources. president trump spoke out about the attempted bombings, late in the day after the emergency had been playing out for hours. our senior white house correspondent jeff zeleny is joining us from the white house. you have additional new reporting? >> reporter: we do indeed. of course this is an extraordinary event when something like this happened to a former president and a former president before that and a secretary of state. there has been a question, if there was any outreach from this white house and this president to the obamas or the clintons. i have confirmed tonight from a couple officials familiar with this. they say thetes of any information that was happening, but this was all an unusual turn of events here. we have seen the president react so quickly to virtually everything that happens, but it was a slow reaction this morning as this escalated from suspicious package to pipe
bombs. he was being alerted to all of this as it was unfolding. the president did not address it until 2:00 eastern time in the east room at a bill signing when he said this. >> the full weight of our government is being deployed to conduct this investigation and bring those responsible for these despicable acts to justice. we will spare no resources or expense in this effort. and i just want to tell you 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. it's a very bipartisan statement. i can tell you from both sides, we both agree on that. this egregious conduct is abhorrent to everything we hold dear and sacred as americans. my administration will provide additional updates as they
become available and i just want to thank everybody for their understanding. we are extremely angry, upset, unhappy about what we witnessed this morning and we will get to the bottom of it. >> reporter: and you can see the president there was reading that message directly from a teleprompter, and i asked him right after that if he believed it was an act of domestic terrorism. he did not respond to that. we asked him that question again as he left the white house for a campaign rally this evening in wisconsin, just a short time ago. he did not answer that question as well. but wolf, there is some new developments here. just a few moments ago, on the ground, in wisconsin, at that campaign rally, speaker paul ryan was, you know, saying things much more in a direct fashion than the president did. he quieted down. the republicans and the trump supporters in the crowd, and he said this. let's take a listen. >> did you see the news this morning about these devices,
terrorism. there is no place for that in our democracy. we reject that, and i just want to say thank god for our law enforcement who is doing this day in and day out to keep us safe. let's keep them in our prayers and let's be thankful for them on a day like today. >> so by calling that specifically an act of terrorism, the speaker of the house, the republican speaker of the house has gone much farther than the president has done. wolf, now the question is this, what does the president say at this rally this evening. is he going to change his rhetoric? we have been at these campaign rallies across the country. as the midterm elections have approached, the escalation in rhetoric has increased dramatically. i was in houston monday night, we have not heard the vitriol at cnn and others nearly as strong for quite a while, so it's a question tonight, wolf, is the president going to be like he was in the east room today with a call for unity which he has
never done before or is he going to continue the rhetoric at the campaign rally? so important what the speaker of the house was saying earlier this evening just a short time ago in wisconsin. >> as you noted, the president at least so far has not had the courtesy to simply make a phone call to the clintons or the obamas or any of the other targets of this terror attack. you would think he would simply pick up the phone and call them and express his solidarity. unfortunately he has not done that yet, let's see if he does that later today. we'll see what he says at this rally in wisconsin as well. jeff zeleny, thank you very much. let's take a quick break. much more on the breaking news right after this. buy chocolate, sea salt rxbar.
this is cnn, the most trusted name in news. we're back with our breaking news coverage of the attempted pipe bomb of cnn, the obamas, clintons and others. let's bring in our analysts and correspondents. what are investigators primarily focussing on right now? >> well, right now, the investigation is multipronged, wolf. on one hand, investigators want to see if there are anymore suspicious packages with these types of devices that are out there. in fact, in this press release sent out by the fbi, it acknowledges there could be more packages out there. that is a big focus, was it one person, was it more than one person that was behind this. as my colleague evan has reported, at least one of these
devices has been analyzed at quantico. other dries are -- devices are being sent to be looked at. they're going to look at the si signatures of the bombs, compare it to others. there was sulfur found in at least one of these devices, an explosive material and they are going to look at the targets here. that can also provide clues. these, you know, high level democratic politicians under the obama administration including former secretary of state, hillary clinton, of course president barack obama, the former attorney general eric holder, john brennan. these are just some of the targets here. there is also a suspicious package sent to the democratic congresswoman maxine waters, a law enforcement source tells me that it hasn't been ruled in or out in terms of being connected to the other five targets but that's only because the analysis is still underway, though the outside of the package sent to her is very similar in its appearance. >> as you know, there are similarities among these bombs?
>> there are, and one of the things that the fbi will be looking at as they investigate this is they're going to comb over every detail. because we have multiple crime scenes, you have a package delivered to a location, and you're going to ultimately have a location where these bombs are put together, they're going to be looking at everything from as pam was saying, the signature to they'll get down to the level of detail in the forensics as to where the actual components came from. the degree to which they're similar will be certainly significant. the degree to which the rapidity with which they were put together and delivered will be significant as well. i think it's clear that we're going to find out who did this pretty soon. this is not the era of the uni bomber and the similarities in these packages will be a big factor in that. >> josh, you used to be an fbi supervisory special agent. there are a lot of clues that the fbi and other law enforcement, they have right now. >> that's right, wolf, there are a lot of clues on the forensic si side, the devices, the
similarities, examines will look at all of these devices and determine whether there's a pattern, in order to track them back to the original source. they'll look at the ingredients, they'll look at the style, and compare that with information already in their holdings based on other devices collected throughout the years. again, in order to determine that pattern of geography in order to find this person. one of the other clues, at least one of the commonalities has to do with the targets, wolf. if you look at the people who were targeted. they all seem to have certain things in common, the most glaring, these are democrats, progressives, john brennan is the outliar, but someone -- outlyer, but garnered criticism from president trump. that is an important part of this. investigators look at that and say what was the motive here, if this is someone who was actually targeting democrats and progressives, that will help in their criminology to determine what is going through this person's mind in order to track back and find out who this is. wolf. >> how big is the man hunt,
evan? >> it's being treated on a national scale. they don't know whether or not there might be anymore of these that could be out there. i think what josh is saying is very important. this is wide open for the fbi and for these investigators. they really do not know what the motivation is, and you don't want to start small. you want to start big and try to narrow it down. every part of these packages, every component is a potential clue and it's being treated that way. perhaps there could be finger prints, the handling of these devices that could tell you where they came from. you know, everything here is going to be examined by the fbi and by the investigators that are working this. >> can i add that just, you know, if you look at this. we have been talking obviously with our sources, this is now the most important investigation for the fbi and for federal law enforcement, if you stop to think about what we're dealing with, this is an attempted assassination against two former presidents. let that sink in. obviously there are a number of other officials that were involved but we can bet based on talking to our source, it's very much all hands on deck.
this is a very big deal. >> can i say quickly, just this press release announced by the fbi, josh you can speak to this, this is not something the fbi does every day, sending out this amount of information, evidence they're using in this investigation. this shows they're taking it very seriously, and they need the public's help. >> someone clearly wanted to kill all of these individuals. this is a massive man hunt. everybody stand by. there's much more right after this. was a very important million and one. pnc. make today the day. hi, my name is sam davis and i'm going to tell you about exciting plans available to anyone with medicare. many plans provide broad coverage and still may save you money on monthly premiums and prescription drugs. these are affordable, all-in-one plans that help pay for doctor visits, hospital stays and emergency care. but they also include prescription drug coverage. in fact, last year
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all right, let's get back to our analysts and correspondents, and david, someone today targeted president obama, hillary clinton, john brennan, eric holder, maxine waters, george soros, debbie wasserman-schultz and cnn. what did you think? >> i think his words were fine in terms of calling out what happened and expressing his resolve. here's the problem for president trump. he doesn't get the benefit of the doubt on words anymore. he has to back it up with action because the fact that the president, wolf, or anyone in his white house refuses to this point thus far today to take responsibility for the context in which today's action has taken place, is a huge problem. it's ignoring the reality that we're living in. by not accepting any responsibility -- i'm not suggesting he's at fault for the actual sending of these devices today or anyone in the white house. but to ignore the -- his rhetoric. i mean, you could match up, line for line, his rally speeches
with every single one of those names that you just listed. this is his rhetoric that has created this moment in time and to ignore that is to ignore a huge component of what's going on here. >> yeah, let me play the clip because he's gone after all these individuals who were targeted with bombs, potentially could have been murdered. he's gone after them often. listen to this. >> fake as hell cnn. the worst. hillary's a very dishonest person. if you look at the things she says, i mean, they're so dishonest. i think brennan's a very bad guy and if you look at it, a lot of things happened under his watch. i think he's a very bad person. and of course, the legendry low iq maxine waters. low iq person. it was very polarized under president obama, unbelievably polarized under president obama. he'll go to a person holding a sign who gets paid by soros or
somebody. >> he -- that underscores your point. >> 100%. he has to take responsibility for that. this is his rhetoric that is creating this moment and this could have been so much worse than what happened today, and i -- this is a leadership test for him if he is going to be able to step up and i am so curious to watch how he handles his crowd of supporters tonight in wisconsin. this is a leadership test for him, if he is going to step up and take some responsibility and adjust his actions. he has not done course correction. that's not part of the trump persona. i think the test is on him right now. >> we'll see what he says and if he specifically mentions all these individuals as well as cnn, which was clearly targeted today as well. david, what did you think in is ? >> i agree with david. the president, though not responsible for sending out these passackages or bombs, he responsible for turning up the temperature on our political discourse over the last couple years. you played the clip. for him to come out today and
make that statement, which was appropriate and called for unity, but not acknowledge that he bears some share of the responsibility for where we've gotten in our politics, i think, one, is insufficient, and two, it's a missed opportunity. he does, as you say, have an opportunity tonight to come out in his rally, if he chooses. i'm not sure if he will, to give an obama-like speech. think of obama speaking after congresswoman giffords was shot. think of obama's race speech in 2008, the giffords speech in 2011, even his speech trying to bring people together on immigration in 2014. president obama specialized in bringing threads together in moments when people needed unity. president trump is a good speaker but his specialty is more skewering his opponents. >> josh campbell, the identity of these targets, the political orientation, the fact they've criticized the president but he's really gone after them as well, how significant of a clue is that? >> yeah, it's a giant clue, because again, when you're
trying to get in the mindset of this person who attempted to conduct a killing, attempted to conduct a mass murder, you want to determine, okay, what is it that's inspiring this person? what were they trying to accomplish? and if you look at these contradicti characteristics of these officials, these are democrats, progressives. i'll tell you, one thing that's interesting, whether or not this turns out to be someone who's acting in their right mind or someone who is perhaps suffering from mental health challenges, that doesn't mean that the president is off the hook here. because we know that he's a bully, he traffics in incendiary rhetoric. when you couple that with someone in a leadership position, there will be a following. if there are people out there that act on this rhetoric, it shows you that there are people, a small segment of the population, that are predisposed to act in response to these toxic words. the president is responsible if that's what this turns out to be. people are responsible for their words. >> that's an important point. everybody stand by. i want to quickly right now get the latest on the manhunt.
cnn's brian todd has been investigating for us. brian, what are you learning? >> reporter: we're told this is an investigation that's unfolding on several different tracks. there are plenty of clues to sift there. forensic evidence, but this is a manhunt that also involves putting together a profile of the person or people who did this. former fbi and u.s. marshals agents tell cnn the manhunt for the person who delivered five pipe bombs to cnn and others is now one of the most intense searches in recent memory. >> this is number one. this is all hands on deck. not just in new york, not just here in d.c. but across the country. >> reporter: experts say the perpetrator left important clues. the packages didn't explode, which means fingerprints, dna could be retrievable. a law enforcement official tells cnn all the devices appear to be constructed similarly, pipe bombs, at least one containing projectiles. at least two of the packages, addressed to democratic donor george soros and to former cia director john brennan at cnn's
time warner center had stamps on them that had not been cancelled. instead, they are believed to have been delivered by hand. the one sent to cnn was delivered by a courier, so surveillance footage can be used to track that. could it be a network of people, more than one person doing this? >> it could be. i mean, they're not eliminating anything at this point in time. but conspiracies are very difficult to keep under wraps. and generally, when you have more people, somebody's going to say something or somebody's going to know something. >> reporter: experts say this is a multitrack investigation tonight. one crucial component, a profile of the suspect. mary ellen o'toole profiled ted kaczynski for the fbi. o'toole says investigators are looking closely at the connection between today's targets. brennan, who the bomber mistakenly thought worked for cnn, as well as prominent people in politics who have all been harshly criticized by the president or his right-wing allies. she says law enforcement will be looking for specific
characteristics in the suspect. >> someone that is very angry about the politics in the country and specifically against these individuals. the reason that's important is because there may have been some effort prior to mailing and placing these bombs to contact these people, either through a letter or through posting something on facebook. >> reporter: o'toole says the suspect could plan on mailing more bombs, could have active devices or other weapons on them when law enforcement approaches. and likely has a desperate outlook. >> this is someone who now cannot go back. he can not change things and blend back into a common, ordinary life, so he has thrown all caution to the wind, so he has nothing to lose to hurt or kill law enforcement as they approach him. >> reporter: and o'toole says the perpetrator may have become energized by all this attention generate bid tod generated by today's attacks and that could make them more brazen, but it could also lead
them to make a big mistake, maybe get them caught. >> brian, thanks very much. and let me speak for myself and all of our cnn colleagues here in the united states and around the world, want to reassure all of our viewers, we will continue to do our job to report the news fairly and accurately despite these threats. "erin burnett outfront" starts "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com good evening, i'm jake tapper in for erin burnett. the search for a serial bomber, authorities trying to find out who's responsible for sending at least six explosive devices to prominent democrats and a former cia director in care of cnn. the targets include former president barack obama and michelle obama in washington, d.c., former secretary of state hillary clinton and former president bill clinton in new york. former obama attorney general eric holder, though the package was sent to the wrong address and sent to the return address