Secret Service intercepts suspected ricin letter sent to Trump

The Washington Times | 1/5/2018 | Staff
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The Secret Service intercepted an envelope suspected of containing ricin, a lethal poison, sent to President Trump, the service confirmed Tuesday.

The letter was intercepted Monday, the same day ricin-laced mail was sent to the Pentagon.

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Another letter with suspicious white powder caused a scare at Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign headquarters in Houston, but the powder turned out not to be hazardous.

The letter targeting Mr. Trump did not reach the White House, the Secret Service said in a statement.

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“The envelope was not received at the White House, nor did it ever enter the White House. As a matter of practice, the Secret Service does not comment regarding matters of protective intelligence,” the statement said.

The Secret Service said it was investigating the incident with other law enforcement agencies.

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“All threats directed towards the president, or any Secret Service protectee, are treated seriously and fully investigated,” the Secret Service said.

Two packages that initially tested positive for ricin were addressed to Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson.

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The suspicious packages were intercepted and contained at a mail screening facility outside the main Pentagon complex, according to a Pentagon spokesman. They were turned over to the FBI.

Ricin is a deadly poison extracted from castor beans. It can be purified into powder, pellets or mist and has been used in terror plots, including one in 2013 targeting President Obama, Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi and a Mississippi judge.

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