tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC October 24, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PDT
good morning to you. craig melvin from msnbc headquarters in new york city. we continue to follow this breaking news. potential explosive devices mailed to president obama and hillary clinton. as you see there, cnn reporters and others have been evacuated from their headquarters here in new york city. this is a live look outside the time warner center here in new york city. the secret service confirming a criminal investigation into the explosive devices mailed to the two democrats a short time ago, they follow a similar discovery of a device found, a very similar device that was found monday in the mailbox of billionaire philanthropist george soros. let's start with our nbc reporter tom winter, nbc investigative reporter ron allen has made his way to chappaqua. this is a suburb of new york city. this is where president clinton and hillary clinton live. hans nichols is at the white house. tom, let me start with you here in the studio. i understand that you have some new reporting on the devices themselves.
what more can you tell us? >> craig, this reporting reflects mine and my colleague's, that we're getting some ideas of what these potential explosive devices were. we're saying potential because the analysis is still underway. we don't know if, in fact, they would have gone off or whether or not they were just designed very close to the point where they would have gone off, but were not actual fungt yu-- the e tier yo -- the exterior of the package is manila in color. they do have stamps on them. there is a common return address on the envelope that at the moment we are withholding because this is obviously an ongoing law enforcement investigation. it's a sensitive investigation, but the return address is for a prominent former democratic party official. so there's the same return address on all the packages that have been sent so far, and i'm referring specifically to the
clinton, obama, and soros packages. >> okay. now, the picture we're showing people live is outside of cnn. what we've been told there is the device -- the potential device or the suspicious package that was found there this morning is very similar, if not exactly similar to what was found in the other three packages, the clinton, obama, soros packages. at this point it's being treated as an explosive device. we don't know whether it is actually an explosive device. the image that we've been showing on screen i could see in the background the bomb squad's containment vessel is there. they would have the ability to, if they render that package safe, they have the ability to take that package, put it inside of that, and then they'll take it to the facility in the bronx. they can actually explode it there, but inside that vessel they can keep all the evidence. this is standard procedure that you're seeing with the nypd bomb squad right now. i'm not detailing everything that's going on there. this is something they train for all the time. this is something they have a tremendous amount of experience with, but at this point we're starting to learn a little bit
more about those devices, how similar they are, potential devices, how similar they are in nature, and it's something we're going to have to continue to watch to find out who, in fact, is sending these. >> are your sources telling you whether there is concern that there might be more devices out there like these, or do we believe at this point that all of the explosive devices have been mailed? >> i think there's definitely concern that the potential exists for more devices to be found. i don't think anybody expected there to be a device that -- potential device that showed up at cnn this morning. obviously we had one earlier this week with george soros on monday. now we have the two that we've learned about here overnight into early this morning. i think this is kind of a dynamic situation. i know that there was a report that had gone out that there may have been another device or potential package that was found at george soros's foundation office here in new york city. that is not true. i've been told that by nypd. i know there's a lot of reports that were thrown out there.
>> this is a look in northwest d.c. this is the neighborhood in which the obamas live. you can see some police activity outside that house. at this point we do not know whether one or both of the obamas were at home, but, again, the obamas, the clintons, and george soros, and now cnn evacuated as well as a result of these explosive devices that have been mailed. let me go now to my colleague ali velshi. he joins me now by phone. he is outside the time warner center in new york city. what's the scene there, ali? >> reporter: i'm on 58th street, which is the street where the entrance of cnn. this is as close as we can get to the cnn entrance. i'm here with a number of my old colleagues from cnn. this is also where they're reporting from. what we're looking at most prom ne -- prominently in addition to a
heavy police presence. i think i see john miller on the scene now. we see a bomb disposal unit that is outside of cnn. it may be hard for you to see. it looks like a garbage truck with a big round opening. a lot of police, some fire vehicles. all of the cnn staff has been evacuated. the retail portion of it. the police on the scene are treating it as if it's an active bomb. they are obviously in discussions now as to what to do with it. in concert with the other bombs or suspected bombs, the packages
that were received today, that is what is giving everybody concerned. i should say craig, this area, time warner center, columbus circle like where we work at rockefeller center, they were able to respond very quickly to the call from cnn that there was a suspicious package here. very heavy police presence. this is a major hub in new york, nine subway lines, many major streets. the police have done a good job of keeping it open. all the major streets are open but for 58th street where i am now where the police presence is concentrated, and it does look like everybody's figured this out. they're trying to figure out what to do with the package, where to detonate it. the detonation unit is still on scene on 58th street. >> ali velshi, we'll come back to you in just a moment. ali velshi on 58th street here in new york city right outside cnn headquarters, which have been evacuated. the president of cn nrkn sent ao to staff confirming the
evacuation saying that a suspicious package was received in the mailroom. zucker going on to say they were working with authorities to determine the severity of the situation. nypd on the scene as you can see there. they are also checking all of the their bureaus around the world out of a complete abundance of caution. that language coming from the president of cnn. ron allen has made his way to chappaqua, new york. that is of course where the clintons live. he is outside the clinton home. ron, what more can you tell us? do we know, first of all, whether one or both of the clintons were home at the time? >> reporter: we're being told, craig, that bill clinton, president clinton was at home when this device was found. however, again, underscoring it was never got anywhere near here. it was intercepted in the mail, processed and found that at a
secret service screening center. hillary clinton is in florida attending a number of fundraisers that were already preplanned. and the secret service has been emphasizing that these devices never got anywhere near either of them. they were never a threat, but of course the fact that they even exist, the fact that this is even happening is a concern. outside here at the clinton estate, remember, they have been here for 18 years or so, right after president clinton left office. this is a well-established, well-protected neighborhood. the screening of their mail is a well-done process that has been happening for years and years and years, and i would assume it's a similar process in the case of president obama. so very different situation yesterday, however, at the home of george soros, which is about, oh, ten miles or so from here in another town here in northern new york where that device was found in a mailbox, a big
mailbox that sits right on the side of a main road, a two-lane roadway right outside of husband hous -- his house. it's unclear whether that device came through the mail or whether it was dropped off by hand and put in the mailbox, which just based on looking at the logistics of it someone could have easily done, just drive up and put something in a mailbox. it's unclear how that device got there. that one too. in that case that was discovered, we understand, by an employee who was working at the residence, a security person, somebody picking up the mail. we don't know exactly what that person's role was, but that person became suspicious, took the device, the bomb out into the nearby woods and called the police who came with the bomb squads, and they detonated it, disarmed it, made it safe. in that case as well, we are told george soros was not at home when that device was found there, and we don't know his whereabouts since. but again, out here now, a lot of security outside the clinton
house. there was a fair amount of security at the soros house yesterday, and also at his foundation society offices which are down in midtown not far from where you are. we saw a lot of security there as well as authorities, investigators try to figure out what the scale of this is, what's happening. as you might imagine, the people we talked to in the community are very disturbed by all of this. on the one hand, it doesn't seem to be a threat to the wider community. it seems to be targeting specific individuals, political individuals, but that, of course, is disturbing as well t certainly because of what it says about the place our country is in that it comes to this. the secret service is here, the police are here. we don't know if bill clinton is here. we know hillary clinton is not as this investigation continues to figure out why this is happening and whether it's going to continue. >> okay. ron, thank you, outside
chappaq chappaqua. ron, we'll check in with you in just a moment. let me bring in now our justice correspondent, pete williams there in washington, d.c. pete you've been working the phones, talking to your sources. what more do we know at this point? >> well, i think one thing to emphasize here is that the assumption has to be made in all these cases that these devices could be fully functional, so they're treating them as such. that's the normal approach, that's the normal protocol for whenever a suspicious device like this is found that looks like it could be a working device. that has to be always the assumption for maximum safety. whether, in fact, any of these were fully functional, capable of going off doing damage, causing injury, possibly death, we don't know. what we're told is that the analysis that's most advanced is on the device that was found first, the one you were just talking about at the home of george soros in new york -- not in new york city, but in new
york state, and the analysis of that one being conducted by the fbi's analysts at their lab outside washington, d.c. in quantico, virginia, isn't done a and that no conclusion has been reached yet on whether these were, in fact, fully functional devices. now, all of them appear to be made roughly the same. they're all pipe type devices, pipe bomb type devices, explosive powder inside a pipe. but whether they were capable of going off and what would have caused them to go off is yet to be determined. would they be i'll offer an example of the unabomber several years ago, would they be set to go off when the package was opened. were they set to go off when it was handled or was there a timer. all of those things are to be determined, and even if they have the sort of detonation schematic or the theory of how it would work, would in fact, it
function? i think that's point one. we just don't know, in fact, what that was. secondly, they all appear to be the same. the outward appearances, they look the same, i guess is the easiest way to say it. they're all in envelopes, not boxes. they all appear to be constructed the same. they all bear the same return address, obviously phony of a former prominent democratic official, and they were all sort of similar targets. now, we know of only four at this point, the one sent to soros, the one addressed to barack obama, the one addressed to hillary clinton, and apparently now this fourth one, the one addressed to cnn. there had been a report elsewhere, craig, this morning, that another device was addressed to the white house and intercepted, but that we're told is not the case. i think that was basically some confusion of the fact that it's the same mail sorting facility
that sorts the mail for the white house and for the former presidents, and i think that's where that confusion came from. we only know of these four at this point. it bears emphasis that the packages addressed to the clintons and the obamas never got anywhere near their houses. all mail sent to people protected by the secret service, current and former federal officials, is screened at an off site facility. in other words, it may be addressed to an address in washington, d.c., but the postal service doesn't just deliver it there. it's diverted. it goes through a mail screening facility. that's true of all the mail that goes to the white house. all the mail that goes to many cabinet offices, all the mail that goes to members of congress. it's not delivered there directly, and it hasn't been ever since basically since the anthrax scare of 2001. all that mail doesn't go
through. it was detected. that's part of the good news here that the ones addressed to the government officials were found now. obviously that's not the case for mail to george soros. it's not the case for mail sent to cnn, although most modern, most corporations, most companies that have offices in new york have mail screening facilities where incoming mail is not simply directly sent to some person that it's addressed to. it goes through screening. it's x-rayed, that kind of thing, and that's presumably in the mailroom where this package to cnn that we're spending a lot of time looking at this morning, that's where it was sent, and that's where it was detected. >> pete, hang tight for me one second. tom winter, i understand you've got some new information here? >> yeah, i was just asked by the control room about some of the things that we've all received on our phones. because of our proximity to cnn we've received emergency alert, kind of a hyper local messages that are sent.
so essentially anybody that's on a group of cell phone towers that are close to cnn, and we're not far away, has received an emergency message saying there's police activity in the area, it's on 58th street. it's an image we've been looking at on screen, and the traffic and other transportation in the area may be impacted but that's something we've seen the nypd use numerous times before. the first time they used it -- that was an actual confirmed explosive device that the nypd investigated in chelsea when there was a bomber there. we were lucky that device didn't go off at that time. people are asking about these emergency alerting messages. this something we receive in new york city. they're able to kind of hyper target us. i'll let you get back to pete. >> pete, how real is the possibility, according to your sources there in washington, how real is the possibility that there are other pipe bomb type devices out there? >> well, i would give two
answers to that. one is i guess they don't know for sure. >> okay. >> because the mail that was sent to soros and cnn was delivered, so they just didn't spot that and didn't know about it. clearly the postal service and the investigative authorities, the fbi and the nypd didn't know about the cnn device until it was delivered, so i think that's the first part of the answer to that question. the second part in terms of what is known about mail sent to government officials that was intercepted by the system that intercepts this stuff, they only know of the three that we've talked about, the one sent to soros, which of course they only know about because they were called to go get it, and then the ones that were actually intercepted to the obamas and clintons. i have not heard about others at
this point. >> pete williams, hang tight for me if you can, sir. again, at this point we can also tell you that jonathan dientz, investigative reporter here, reporting that these explosive devices are, in fact, connected, confirming here what most of us have suspected since word started to spread here just an hour or so ago that there were, in fact, four explosive-like devices. go ahead, tom. >> craig, so we are getting some indications and we're starting to hear to your point -- i don't want to say specifically at this point -- but we are hearing that there is -- there may be some additional packages, or at least one suspicious package that they're looking at. and this may belong to that democratic official that i was referencing earlier whose return address was obviously as pete pointed out quite -- it's quite
false, quite fake, but apparently there may be something that they're looking at at that person's address, a suspicious package there. this is very preliminary. we're going to do a little more reporting on that and fill you in. i just wanted to bring you in on the latest because you'd been asking about potential other suspicious packages. >> we know that president trump has been briefed on all of this. vice president pence as well. vice president pence condemning the attempted attacks against former president obama, the vice president saying these cowardly acts are despicable and have no place in this country. he goes on to praise the secret service, grateful for response from the secret service, fbi and local law enforcement. those responsible will be brought to justice. hans nichols is on duty for us there at the white house. what else are we hearing from 1,600 pennsylvania? >> from the secret service we've received clarity from pete's point about how many packages
the secret service has intercepted. they've only intercepted two packages. this is the one to the clinton home and to the obama home. they're refuting saying a report that there's a third package sent to the white house. the secret service is clarifying saying those reports are incorrect. now we have a white house that's really trying to stay in front of this story. they briefed the president earlier this morning. he was still in the residence. the president last i checked is not in the west wing yet. they're trying to stay out front of this. you saw the vice president's tweet. you heard from sarah huckabee sanders condemning this in the strongest possible language saying they condemn the attempted violent attacks. these terrorizing acts are despicable and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. the united states secret service and other law enforcement agencies are investigating and will take appropriate action to recollect anyo
protect anyone threatened by these cowards. it's clear from this morning that here at the white house they're in a crisis mode. they're trying to stay in front of this story and letting everyone know the president has been briefed. >> hans nichols there on duty for us at the white house. clint watts is with me here in new york city as well. clint msnbc's national security analyst, former fbi special agent, joint terrorism task force. we do not know a great deal right now, clint. we just know that there are four pipe bomb type devices that have been found. two of them found by the secret service intercepted. one of them at the obama's home in northwest d.c. the other at the clinton's home in chappaqua, new york. there was the pipe bomb device that was detonated in the woods two days ago, the home of george soros, the famous billionaire philanthropist, along associated with left-leaning causes and candidates, and now we have the device that was apparently sent to cnn that's led to the
evacuation of time warner center just a stone's throw from us here at 30 rock over at columbus circle. based on what we know right now, clint, does the evidence suggest that one person is behind this? does the evidence suggest that there might be a group of people behind this? >> we can't say for sure, but based on the essential crudeness of the device and the same delivery mechanism, i mean, trying to send packages through the mail you tend to think it's one individual, but you don't know that for sure. usually what we find in a lot of these schemes is it might be one person making the bomb, if you think back to timothy mcveigh in oklahoma city, he was the bomber, but there were other people essentially tied into this. something to look at, though is the way the bomber went about this. he or she tried mailing packages to different targets. in doing that they obviously didn't know or had reconned essentially how to get packages through the mail to these people. hillary clinton, bill clinton,
barack obama, these are all people with advanced security details, and they did it seemed like a remarkable job of picking these out. you can compare that to other bombers. if you remember back to austin this past march, what that person was doing was actually setting up bombs like ieds delivering in some ways themselves, and it was only later they went to trying to send packages through. this is a different type of operation. i'll be interested to see how sophisticated are they. if they're somewhat crude, it's almost someone trying to send a signal as much as be successful. they have definitely sent a signal here today. >> we are hearing from a clinton spokesman telling us that there's been nothing suspicious address order sent to the clintons' washington, d.c. residence at this time. we're also hearing from chelsea clinton. chelsea clinton tweeting a short time ago that she is grateful to the women and men of the united
states secret service. a deputy assistant, former deputy assistant secretary of state under hillary clinton, and filipe we know the secretary is in florida right now for some preplanned events, some fund-raising events, and we don't want to jump the gun too much here. we don't want to get too far out in front of our skis, but we do know that we are shall we say in a climate now where there are often attacks made on the media, the press, journalists, and we know that there are attacks that are often made on george soros and barack obama and hillary clinton. two weeks before these midterms, does it seem like someone might be trying to send a message here? >> well, look, obviously someone who sends bombs in the mail or
hurt people isn't a sane or good person. don't want to ascribe to them of any higher political strategy of affecting midterms. i think your larger point is correct that irrespective of what this person's political leanings or motivations are, we are living in an atmosphere where hate and violence have been not only incited but condoned by donald trump, and, look, you know, this could be the most liberal person in america who has some problem with these four individuals and institutions. it doesn't really matter. excuse me, there are a lot of people who are living on the edge of sanity in general. i don't mean that to be facetious. and when people in authority kind of lift the guardrails from that, people are going to act out, and there is no human being more responsible for the climate we're in than donald trump.
today is the 643rd day he has been in office. i don't think he has uttered a single word on any of those days that in any way condemns violence or tells people to dial it down. he thrives on it. he requires it. he cannot succeed without hate and anger. for him to say everyone should dial it back would basically be him acknowledging and raising a white flag, and it's absolutely horrible. >> all right, former aid to hillary clinton, filipe thank you. stick around for me if you can. we want to get to garrett haake. he has made his way to northwest d.c. near the obama's house. we checked in a few moments ago, garrett. there was some police activity behind you, and it would seem as if that's still the case? >> reporter: yeah, that's right, craig, we have some significant uniformed secret service agents
here outside the obamas' neighborhood but that's not entirely unusual. i'm about four houses down from where the obamas live in the calorama neighborhood of washington, d.c. this is a normal part of life here in this neighborhood. this is what it is like to live next door to a former president of the united states. there is some increase in the amount of visible security here. again, that's not unusual in the obamas' nabeighborhood. it's important to point out that this device didn't get anywhere near this close to the obamas' home. their mail doesn't show up at the front door the way yours and ours does. it was sent to a screening facility. a bit more watchful, a bit more closely guarded this evening or this afternoon ir should say. >> garrett haake, let me bring in malcolm nance now, executive director of asymmetrics project. author of a new book, "the plot
to destroy democracy." malcolm, i want to come to you with the same question i posed to pete. how real is the possibility at this point that there is another pipe bomb-like device out there? how worried should we be about that? >> well, i think that there is a likelihood that there is another device out there. this type of campaign that you're seeing right now -- and i'm going to take this one step further. i know we don't have a lot about the bomberme. i know we don't have a lot about the devices. what we're looking at is an intimidation campaign being carried out by an individual who fancies himself as a terrorist. might be a domestic terrorist, that's most likely based on the number of and types of targets he's selected. this type of campaign has one function only, and that is to intimidate everyone that is watching this news program right now. and they select their targets, we have a saying in the community, the target is the tactic. he used a methodology that was almost certain to be caught, and
that is the u.s. postal system. postal inspectors are always on the lookout for devices like this. they generally are small and crude. they generally get caught. so that being said, the devices themselves may not be real. they may be operational fakes, which means a device that looks like it could work. they may have actual components that would work if chained together properly or they may, in fact, be actual working devices that were crudely done. the fact that they used the u.s. postal system to deliver them tells you that they were intended to try to keep away from him as far as possible and, of course, to, you know, use a courier that would deliver these devices so that he possibly wouldn't have to himself. however, that is almost a guarantee to get caught. this person had to assemble these packages, bring it to a post office, using the u.s. postal service guidelines on the
basis of the devices, he will probably put more postage than is required and he gave a return address, which is interesting. the postal service bomb detection guidelines always say look for a device, a package with no return address. so this person seems to have known that. so for the most part, right now we are in what could possibly be phase one of an intimidation campaign, and that would leave more devices out there. >> all right, malcolm stand by for me if you can. i want to go back to our justice correspondent, pete williams. i understand you've got some news? >> reporter: we're told that the package that was sent to cnn the one that you're looking at that has caused the evacuation of their midtown manhattan headquarters, which is the pictures you're seeing now, was actually addressed not to someone who works at cnn but to john brennan, the former cia director who sometimes appears on cnn or has appeared on cnn. that's what the package was
addressed to, to john brennan, but then the address was the cnn headquarters. and what we're told is that mr. brennan was contacted by cia security because of the fact that, of course, he's a former official and they were concerned about his safety and the description that they gave to him of the device is consistent with what we have been told and what we've been reporting publicly, that these were all -- he was told that they all appeared to be similar to the ones sent to soros and to the obamas and the carolinas to, that they were in a cushioned envelope and appeared to be a pipe bomb sent through the postal service, contained a pipe and some wires, but whether, in fact, they were functional devices he was told has yet to be determined, and that, craig, is also consistent with what we have been told, which is that that has not been determined yet.
now, you may well ask yourself, if they don't know whether it's a working device, why are they treating this with such seriousness, you know, evacuating the building, and the answer to that question is when in doubt assume that it is. that's the normal protocol whenever there's a suspicious package that appears to be a bomb. that's why you're seeing this being treated the way it is. all of these packages, all these padded envelopes had the same return address with obviously a phony address claiming to be from a prominent democrat. we're not reporting the name ri right now just for the sake of not spurring copycats, which seems the prudent thing to do, and i think there's some indication from law enforcement officials that there's at least a working theory on what state these packages were mailed from, which is a good sign that investigators have a good sense
of that. i think perhaps at this point it would be well to explain something about how packages are tracked in this day and age. when you send a package, when anyone sends a package through the mail. now, flats like this padded envelope are going to be treated slightly differently than envelopes, but when the packages go through the postal service, obviously there's high speed scanning and tracking to divert them and move them on to where they're supposed to go, but they're photographed, and it's possible to trace things back to roughly the point of origin by using the images that are stored by the postal service. so when you put something in the mail, it doesn't just get, you know, it is possible to track itme it, not necessarily back to the actual box that it was put in,
but certainly the -- the ability of government officials to gather evidence and to work backwards is pretty sophisticated in this day and age. so there's some, you know, real encouragement here that the source of this may be eventually be found. >> all right, justice correspondent pete williams there with some news. the scene you are looking at here on your television sets or your mobile devices and i'll describe it for folks who are listening on sirius satellite radio, this is outside time warner center here in new york city. cnn's offices were evacuated more than an hour ago, roughly an hour ago now, and we just found out courtesy of pete there, that the pipe bomb type device that was sent to cnn was actually not addressed to anyone who works at cnn. it was addressed to john
brennan, former interim cia director who appears occasionally on cnn. he also appears fairly regularly on this network as well. so we've got the device that was mailed to brennan. we've got the device that was mailed to former president obama, former president clinton, george soros as well. that device from two days ago. i turn now again to clint watts, msnbc's national security analyst, former fbi special agent, joint terrorism task force. all of these people seem to have something in common. we know that cia director brennan has also been a critic here, a vocal critic of the trump administration. what more can we glean from what we know so far, clint? >> yeah, i mean, the targets are fairly obvious. they've all been either brought up by the president or were opponents of him in different contexts. i think what we can look at, though, is sophistication of the devices is always what you're looking for. has there been significant
reconnaissance done of the targets. in this case when we were talking about the secret service, they're the best in the world in detecting an explosive device that might come to a former president, former government officials. that was picked off, and they were successful at stopping that. the next thing we should thing about in terms of the ignition devices, is this something when it's picked up, is it remote control, any sophisticated components like that, when there's been no talk or really evidence of it. the first bomb that arrived at george soros's house, they were able to take that, go and do essentially an investigation under a controlled detonation it sound like, and that suggests it wasn't designed to go off when someone picks it up or that someone was in control of that device. the other thing you look at is what kind of explosive is in there. black powder is what i've read so far was included in that first device. more sophisticated devices tend to use things like hydrogen
peroxi peroxide. this was the great fear of al qaeda. many other plots, is this some sort of hydrogen peroxide boiled down device, and the most sophisticated weapons, there seems to be no evidence of that. like malcolm was talking about and what pete was talking about is the addressing, sending through the mail is a very crude sort of thing to do, and one advantage, while this is an unfortunate incident, one of the advantages we have is the devices are still intact. that means there's going to be a lot of human forensics that you can pull, both from the postal service, like pete was saying in terms of all the pictures, in term terms of how it moves in transit and in terms of the device. if you don't need to blow it in place, essentially destroy it in place, if you can make sure it's safe and render it safe, you're talking about fingerprints, possibly hair samples, you know, all sorts of other human forensics that can lead you back. and what i found interesting as pete said, if they've already
narrowed it down to one essentially state and we've seen this same pattern be used repetitively, i imagine law enforcement, especially in this day and abge, it's how to track these things down aggressively. you're seeing local, federal responding very aggressively. i imagine they're going to move really, really quickly and we're going to hear some developments within the day. >> bill bratton standing by. i want to go to hans nichols first. hans i understand you've also gotten some response from members of congress as well to all of this. what are they saying? >> you're seeing several republican members of congress condemning these acts of violence. you've heard from speaker ryan, mr. scalise, i'm going to read you mr. ryan's speech. those behind such reprehensible acts must be brought to justice. we cannot tolerate any attempt to terrorize public figures and i'm grateful to the secret service, capitol police and all law enforcement who guard
against these threat. mr. scalise, he himself was a victim of violence at that baseball game last spring. he's saying that the violence has no place in our society. you saw earlier this morning the white house quickly condemning it. now you're seeing congressional republicans quickly condemning these explosive devices that are being sent through the mail. i suspect we'll hear more of that throughout the day. just a quick note on john brennan being the target or the recipient that package was addressed to. it bears noting that his security clearance was stripped by president donald trump, and he has become almost an important symbol in a lot of the back and forth on just how intense some of these political conversations are becoming. >> hans, stand by for me. i want to bring in former new york city police commissioner bill bratton. he ran police departments in boston and los angeles as well. commissioner, first of all, just your general reaction to what we are seeing unfold here in the streets of new york city and down in washington, d.c. as
well? before we get to you, pete williams i understand also has some new information. pete, what do you have? >> well, we're told by law enforcement officials what the device, what the inside of these packages looks like. let me show you a photograph, and i'm going -- this is what we're told is what is being sent in these packages, and as you can see when we get in on it pretty tight, it's some kind of pipe that's all wrapped up in tape, and there's some sort of dwo device attached to it. you can see ill bit of the packagiing material it came in. it appears to be, you know -- it certainly designed to be a working device, but just to emphasize again, whether in fact it is a working device is something that is to be determined. what we're told by law enforcement officials is that all of these packages contain something similar to this, a
pipe bomb type device, we're told that if we can go back to it just for a second, we're told that the device itself did contain explosive powder, but whether it would work, how it was designed to work, what this thing is here, whether this is a timer, is it a motion device, is it something to be triggered when the package was opened, that is all to be determined. but this law enforcement official says is what was in these envelopes that was sent to these -- we know of at least four, possibly five, and the reason we say possibly five is that we're told that authorities are looking at a suspicious package -- thank you, grif, of the office of congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz of florida, and whether this could be another of these devices.
that's something that the police are now investigating down there. >> pete, is that her d.c. office or her florida office? >> florida office. in sunrise, florida. whether, in fact, it is or a copycat thing we just don't know. it's going to take a while for them to look at that device, compare it to the others. obviously the nypd people have a good idea of what these devices look like, but whether -- and this i am assuming is the picture from florida here. >> that's a chopper view of debbie wasserman schultz's florida office. >> you can see the police tape there while they look at a suspicious package and determine whether it's the same one. now, that's going to be a bit of a trick because the authorities there won't know what these other devices look like, except for the obvious things. was it delivered through the mail, did it have stamps? was it a padded envelope? did it have the name of a prominent democratic official?
and i suppose at this point we might as well go ahead and say what we haven't said so far because it's obvious that the name on the return address of these other devices sent to soros, to the obamas, to the clintons, and to cnn was, in fact, debbie wasserman shumchul obviously a phony and now they're looking at whether a similar device was sent to her office. that's going to take a little while to determine. again, i keep saying, craig, and i hate to sound like a broken record here, but we still don't know whether these devices, while they look very worrisome and are being treated as potentially working devices, whether, in fact, they were fully functioning. now, it could be that whoever built them intended them to be fully functioning, but whether that person actually did it correctly to use perhaps the wrong word, but did it so that they would be fully functional, we just don't know yet. that analysis is still underway.
>> pete, thank you, police commissioner bratton as we look at the scene here in sunrise, florida, now, you can see the officials outside congressman deb wee w debb debbie wasserman's office, that office has been evacuated as they investigate what is now being described as a fifth possible pipe bomb device. as you watch this play out, you think what? >> in the case of cnn it's in a -- up in that building. they don't want to use the elevator to take it down, for example. part of the delay in new york city is the bomb squad working with atf determining how do they get that device out of the building, get it into one of the bomb containers. there would be great interest to analyze one of these devices intactcapability.
they all seem to be similar. they all seem to be mailed in similar packages, which is a good thing initially. you know what you're looking for, but that might change to a different type of delivery system, fedex or something, rather than u.s. postal service. what's going on in all these locations is the idea of how to get those devices out into the bomb trucks and move them into an area where they can either be exploded or analyzed to determine were they capable of explosion, and if so what was the detonation going to be. was it a timer? was it some type of handling of the device? they appear to be based on information i'm getting black powder types of devices. >> we've also just learned that roughly an hour from now 12:45 new york's mayor and police will be giving us an update on the evacuation of that time warner building here in new york city. again, that building still evacuated. it was evacuated last hour. we found out a short time ago that the device that was actually sent to cnn was being
sent to john brennan, former cia director, acting cia director john brennan who occasionally appears on that network. that device addressed to brennan. we've got the devices that were intercepted by the secret service in washington, d.c., one of those devices sent to the home of former president obama in the northwestern part of d.c. there is the device that was intercepted by the secret service in chappaqua. that device sent to the home of president clinton, secretary clinton, and then two days ago the device that was sent to george soros, the billionaire philanthropist. that device just ten miles away, roughly, from where the clintons live in chappaqua. the person who discovered that device, the one who works at the soros home took it out to the woods there we're told, and now police are on the scene, the right side of your screen there. that is sunrise, florida. those are the offices of
congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz. that office has also been evacuated as investigators, police on the scene there investigating a suspicious package as well. clint watts is still with me. we just saw that picture from pete williams, the bomb itself. i don't know if we have that, if we can bring it back up on the screen. we're going to bring that picture back up, clint. we were talking about what the device itself might tell us about the person or people behind the bomb. you see that device, and you think what? >> i want to know if it actually works. i think that's the key component to all of this, at least at this time, and i'm sure the nypd teams are going to do a great job and the fbi crime labs, i'm sure will help out the smaller agencies in figuring out does this device actually detonate. is it capable. one of the key things you look for in the investigation moving in reverse now is there any sort of testing of the device's bomb maker to make sure -- caused
some sort of harm. looking at it, it's very hard to tell. is there actually a triggering device. sending a package through the mail like this, what was the intention? you know, how did they essentially think through how will i make this device be detonated or is this simply i want to send a scare, i want to send a shock and a signal to all the intended devices. black powder devices tend to be the simplest. that is a lesser sophisticated device just based on appearance. it's not one that you would typically see sent through the mail with the intention of actually being that successful. if you think back to the unabomber, if you think back to timothy mcveigh, the austin bombings this past march, all of those had much more sophisticated devices that went off based on a triggering mechanism that the bomber had actually thought through in a very specific way about how to execute the attack. i'd be curious as this moves forward, i'm sure nypd will do an excellent job and they have great resources and skills for this to tell us was this a
device that really had the capability to go off, or is this more of a signaling thing? that will tell you a lot about how much time did the person take to put this plot together. what resources did they have to do it? what were their skills in putting it together? >> three senior law enforcement officials say that the return address on the suspicious packages found at the clinton, obama, and soros residences, the return address belongs to dnc official debbie wasserman schultz, so obviously the return address is a fake. there's no suggestion, obviously, that the congresswoman sent these packages. it should be noted that right now her florida office has been evacuated as police investigate a package there. commissioner bratton, i know that you still have a lot of friends inside the department here in new york city. how concerned are they that there are other packages in and around new york city right now similar to the ones that we've been talking about? >> very much so. what's going on right now within the nypd would be a reach out to
the shield partners, that's the 3,000 some odd security directors and companies throughout the new york region to inform them of this series of apparent bomb packages being delivered and giving them notice to be mindful of at least the description of the devices and how they described through the u.s. postal service. the individuvideo is showing, a showing the precautions around the building with the bomb-sniffing dogs and checking the vehicles around the building, and this is a concern to pushing the crowd out to another location is for the idea of a second attack. so they are dealing with all of the locations and trying to get the device outside, and meanwhile outside making sure that there is nothing else out there in the anticipation of the evacuation of the building. the early on descriptions of the black powder device, and even if
it is not capable of explosion, initially screening those devices, the fact that there is an explosive materiel inside would ra raise the feel level right off of the bat, and the detection whether it is through the bomb detection dogs or the scanning devices, the fact that there is an explosive-type materiel would raise the concern significantly and the effort is fgo ing the be made quickly if they are actionable devices that. should be determined quickly once they get them out of the locations. >> pete williams, are you with me in washington? >> yes, sir. >> and pete, do we know if anything was found inside of the manila en velope with the bomb? a note of any sort or a bomb? >> we have not been told the of any note, and i can't say that there wasn't one, and when i talked and when i was talking to, and getting the information about the package sent to cnn
addressed to i was not told of any note included in the package, and i have not heard of any note in the other packages either, so i just don't know. okay. again, we are waiting for this presser to start. roughly 12:45, we will be hearing from police commissioner james o'neal in new york city and mayor bill de blasio as well talking to us, and perhaps shedding new lightp on the situation that is unfolding outside of the time warner center, and again, that building is home to cnn and a number of ther businesses as well, but that building has been evacuated and evacuated last hour, and the president of cnn indicating that they are check all of the bureaus around the world, out of a complete abundance of caution. and let's talk about what we know, and what we do not know at 11:52 on the east coast and
8:52out we8:5 2 out west. and four pipe bomb device s hs been found and two of them intercepted by the secret service around the neighborhood of washington, d.c., and the other was sent to the clinton home, chappaqua new york, and george soros' home receiving one of those pipe-type the devices at the home, and intercepted there by someone who worked at the home. and then the pipe bomb-style device sent to cnn headquarters, but it is addressed to former acting cia director john brennon and finding out that it is sent to or addressed to director brennon within the last 20 minutes or, so and now a scene unrising in sunrise, florida, the offices of congresswoman debbie wassermann schultz, and not just a regular congresswoman if you will, and debbie wassermann schultz at one point
running the the dnc and a prominent fund r-raiser for democrats at some time, and her office, her sunrise office has been evacuated as the police officials there try and figure out precisely who is behind it, and what they are dealing with there. do i still have malcolm nance as well? malcolm, are you with me? >> yes. >> okay. ma malcolm, there is a lot that we don't know, and the chief question being who is behind it or what group might be behind this. and no one is claiming responsibili responsibility, so far. what do we know about the kind of person or people who send pipe bombs, malcolm? >> well, clint van zandt have given you some good point erers this. and every year, the bureau of tobacco and firearms make up a
sum are ri of all of the explosives sent around the united states, and pipe bombs are one of the smaller number of explosives that are used. most of the containers are five gallon drums of explosives, but the kind here, pipe bombs, they are generally for the amateurs who want to build an explosive device and have a relatively good payload and they use the black powder that you can buy for reloading the bullets for guys who shoot. so this type of the explosive payload in there they enhance it by putting in ball bearings in there, but general ly the pipe itself is the shrap nell anel af the come poe nentponents, and ye initiator that will flash it,
and so it can be a viable bomb or a fake designed to look like a bomb. >> and pete williams, justice correspondent, also new information. >> and craig, i will ask you the come to my camera here, because i have something to show you. a while ago we showed you what the inside of the package looks like, and now sh, we are told t is what the envelope on the package looked like this. is a portion of what was sent to cnn here. we have reported that it was addressed to john brennon, the former cia director at time the warner, and the columbus circle address in new york. and you can see that the stamps are on here, and obviously sent through the poestal service, an the way it is showing up here because the color temperature of the monitor is blue, and it makes it look blue, but it is not. it is white, and make its the package look sort of fluorescent yellow, but it is a manila colored padded en velope, and
whoever sent this thought that john brenan could be sent at cnn, because he has appeared there before, but he does not work at cnn and this is the envelope, and you can see the postal services forever stamps. what i was saying a moment ago, craig, is that it is going to be possible to trace these packages, because, just to go through this again, it is possible to trace virtually any piece of mail now. now, i think that everybody understand s ths that if you se package by the fedex or u.p.s., there's a system of tracking, and it is very easy to track that because there is a record made of it from the moment it is sent. it is not working quite the same if you drop something in the mail or stick something in a post box or take it down the post office and stick it in the slot, but when it goes through the postal service sorting machines, every little thing that goes through is
photographed, just the instant of the second when it goes through, it is photographed, and so it is possible that once they start to narrow down where these things came from, and to be relatively specific about where something came from. what we are told is that investigate r tor thes are very early on have a preliminary idea or the notion of what state these states were coming from. but these are all, you know, just to go back for just a second, everything about this has potential evidentiary value. you know, what kind of a sticky thing was this that was put on? avery label, and that kind of thing, and the type style used here, and now, the forever stamps, you don't lick them, because they are, you know, adhesive stamps that you peel them off of the roll -- >> there is dna all over the envelope? >> maybe. and all of these things are
preed preadhesi preadhesive, but everything to investigate or thes has evidentiary value, and that is why they are being handled so carefully, because oftentimes if there is a suspicious device found they take a water can or something at it to disare rupt it, but they want to preserve as much evidence as they can. and john dean, our reporter from wnbc is telling me that the authorities in new york have k taken the device out of the cnn building and sent it to the facility at rodman's neck to be dealt with and render it safe so that they can preserve as much evidence as they can. >> all right. pete williams our justice correspondent there with new information as we continue to watch the scenes unfold. several scenes right now in new york city again. cnn and columbus circle, evacuated. outside of the clinton home in chappaqua with investigators on
the scene with one of the pipe-style devices sent to the clinton home, and obama home as well, and investigators confirm it has been sent there, and now we are also informed that debbie wassermann schultz' office is evacuated as well in sunrise, florida. and now we go to andrea mitchell. we continue the breaking coverage of suspicious packages sent to the chappaqua home of bill and hillary clinton and the washington, d.c., home of barack and michelle obama, and the packages to the clintons and the obamas were flagged in routine screenings before they reached oo either home. in new york, the law enforcement and the first responders are responding to the the evacuation of cnn headquarters in time warner