Suspicious package sent to Robert De Niro amid string of pipe bomb mailers
Robert De Niro is the latest public figure to receive a suspicious package in the mail, one similar to pipe bomb devices sent to CNN and residences of top Democrats.
The New York Police Department received a call from security personnel at Tribeca Productions, the film and television company co-founded by De Niro in 1989, at approximately 5:00 a.m. ET on Thursday about a suspicious package addressed to the actor, a rep for the NYPD told EW.
The NYPD bomb squad examined the package and determined it matched a photo they had released earlier of similar devices sent to various locations around the city. The package has since been removed.
An update from authorities on Twitter informed Manhattan residents to “expect a heavy police presence” in the area as they continue the investigation.
On Wednesday, employees at CNN and within the Time Warner Center building were forced to evacuate after receiving mysterious explosive devices. They appeared to be sent from the same unknown sender, as other packages were sent to Democratic individuals, including former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — all of whom have been highly critical of Trump.
The commander in chief has actively demonized mainstream media, with the exception of Fox News, since the 2016 presidential campaign. In the days leading up to the threatening mailers, Trump attended a rally in Montana where he praised Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte, who attacked a reporter last May. “Any guy who can do a body slam… he’s my guy,” Trump said.
De Niro has never been shy about criticizing Trump, calling him just about every name in the book. While on stage during the Tony Awards in June, the actor was censored by the telecast for proclaiming, “F— Trump. It’s no longer ‘Down with Trump,’ it’s F— Trump.”
Trump initially made a statement from the White House trying to “unify” the nation in a self-described “very bipartisan statement.” He condemned the terrorist acts — without calling them terrorist acts — as “egregious conduct” that is “abhorrent to everything we hold dear and sacred as Americans.”
That message didn’t last long, though. The president quickly changed his tune and slammed the media once again.
“A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News,” he wrote on Twitter. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”
CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker condemned Trump for the rhetoric that seemingly contributes to continuing hostility toward the press.
“There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media,” he wrote in a statement. “The President, and especially the White House Press Secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that.”