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President Trump Condemns Political Violence Hours After Saying ‘Bomb Stuff’ Was Distracting From Midterms

4 minute read

President Donald Trump on Friday addressed the taking into custody of man in Florida in connection with the suspected mail bombs sent to high-profile figures and organizations.

“These terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country. No place,” Trump said during a previously-scheduled event with a group of young black conservatives. “We must never allow political violence to take root in America.”

Trump’s remarks came just hours after the President tweeted that “this ‘Bomb’ stuff” was distracting from the upcoming midterms.

The person in Florida was taken into custody after investigators responded to two suspicious devices on Friday, one of which was addressed to Sen. Cory Booker and the other to former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Among the other high-profile intended recipients include former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former CIA Director John Brennan. The mailings to Brennan and Clapper were addressed to CNN’s offices in New York. A total of 12 packages have been found so far.

Many of the people intended to receive the packages have either personally criticized Trump or have been criticized by him in the past.

Law enforcement agents were seen examining a white van with a blue tarp over it Friday morning. Images posted to social media depict a vehicle that appears to be covered in stickers celebrating the President.

Trump congratulated local and national law enforcement officials for apprehending a potential suspect, comparing the hunt to finding a “needle in a haystack.”

He indicated the guilty party or parties would be prosecuted “to the fullest extent of the law.”

Read President Trump’s remarks regarding the investigation below:

TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you very much. Wow, what a group! What a group! Thank you very much. What a great honor to have you. Thank you. It is a great, great honor to have you in the White House. Thank you very much.

They call this, as you know, this is Young Black Leadership, and it’s the summit, and to have you here is truly my privilege, and we’re going to have a lot of fun. We’re going to talk. We’re going to meet. But…

But before — before I do, I’d like to begin…

TRUMP: And you are leaders. That’s a — you’re real leaders.

I’d like to begin today’s remarks by providing an update on the packages and devices that have been mailed to high-profile figures throughout our country, and a media organization. I am pleased to inform you that law enforcement has apprehended the suspect and taken him into custody.

It’s an incredible job by law enforcement. We’ve carried out a far-reaching federal, state and local investigation to find the person or persons responsible for these events. These terrorizing acts are despicable, and have no place in our country. No place.

I’ve instructed authorities to spare no resource or expense in finding those responsible, and bringing them to swift and certain justice…

… and we will prosecute them, him, her — whoever it may be to the fullest extent of the law.

We must never allow political violence to take root in America — cannot let it happen, and I’m committed to doing everything in my power as president to stop it, and to stop it now, to stop it now.

I have just concluded a briefing with the Department of Justice following the apprehension of the suspect. I want to applaud the FBI, Secret Service, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the NYPD and all law enforcement throughout the entire country. Incredible partners. These people have worked so hard, and to have done it so quickly. It’s looking like a — you’re looking — it’s a needle in a haystack. How do you do this so quickly? They’ve done an incredible, incredible job, and I want to congratulate them.

But a bottom line is that Americans must unify, and we must show the world that we are united together in peace and love and harmony as fellow American citizens. There is no country like our country, and every day, we are showing the world just how truly great we are.

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Write to Abby Vesoulis at abby.vesoulis@time.com