On Oct. 24, 2018, CNN’s New York bureau was evacuated after a pipe bomb was found in the mailroom of the Time Warner Center, which houses CNN’s New York offices.
The package containing the bomb, which also contained an unknown white powder that authorities later determined was part of the bomb, was addressed to “John Brenan, Time Warner Center (CNN).” John Brennan, the former CIA director, is now a paid commentator on MSNBC but has previously appeared as a guest on CNN.
Authorities said that the bomb sent to CNN was similar to explosive devices sent to former president Barack Obama, former vice president Joe Biden, former attorney general Eric Holder, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Democratic congresswoman Maxine Waters, and major Democratic donor George Soros.
Shortly after 10 a.m. on Oct. 24, as CNN’s Jim Sciutto and Poppy Harlow were anchoring a live segment about the suspicious packages mailed to the Obamas and Clinton, a fire alarm went off inside the CNN newsroom.
“There’s a fire alarm, you might have heard it in the background, we’re going to find out what the latest is here at CNN, and we’re going to be right back,” Sciutto said.
Time Warner Center – where CNN's New York offices are located – was just evacuated. The alarm went off as @jimsciutto and @PoppyHarlowCNN were on air reporting the packages sent to the Clintons and Obamas. @ShimonPro reporting it was over "a suspicious package." pic.twitter.com/EYBsytil0o— ?andrew?kaczynski? (@KFILE) October 24, 2018
As CNN’s New York bureau evacuated, the network switched its broadcast to the Washington bureau. But Poppy, Harlow, and other CNN reporters in New York were soon back on the air, using cell phones to offer live reports from the street outside the Time Warner Center.
The NYPD bomb squad removed the device from the Time Warner Center mailroom shortly before noon, but CNN employees were not allowed to re-enter the building until the NYPD had finished sweeping every floor in the building for the white powder. Finally, CNN employees were able to return to their desks around 3:30 p.m.
President Trump criticized the pipe bomb attacks in very broad terms during an unrelated bill-signing ceremony at the White House on Oct. 24.
“We have to unify,” he said. “We have to come together. Acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America. This egregious conduct is abhorrent to everything we hold dear. We’re extremely angry, upset, unhappy about what we witnessed this morning and we will get to the bottom of it.”
The president did not mention CNN or any of the other bomb targets by name.
“There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media,” CNN chief executive Jeff Zucker said in a statement released a few hours later. “The President, and especially the White House Press Secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that.”
This content originally appeared on U.S. Press Freedom Tracker: All Incidents and was authored by U.S. Press Freedom Tracker: All Incidents.