WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday condemned the mailing of a series of explosive devices to current and former political leaders this week as "despicable," saying at the White House that “acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America.”
"In these times we have to unify, we have to come together," he said before a bill-signing event, calling the mailings "abhorrent to everything we hold dear and sacred as Americans."
“We are extremely angry, upset, unhappy about [what happened] this morning, and we will get to the bottom of it,” he added.
First lady Melania Trump introduced the president at the event and stated "we cannot tolerate those cowardly attacks and I strongly condemn all who choose violence."
The president, who was briefed earlier on the ongoing investigation along with top officials, said a full-scale federal investigation was underway following the sending of packages containing the explosive devices to a series of current and former officials.
"The full weight of our government is being deployed to conduct this investigation and bring those responsible for these despicable acts to justice. We will spare no resources or expense in this effort," Trump said.
The mostly Democratic targets, whom the president and first lady did not name in their remarks, included former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and former CIA Director John Brennan, who was the intended recipient of a package sent to CNN's New York City office.
On Monday a similar device was sent to the home of George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist and top Democratic donor.
No one has been injured by the devices.
In a joint statement, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the president's remarks on Wednesday fell short.
"We all take an oath to support and defend the constitution and protect the American people, and that is our first responsibility," they said. “However, President Trump’s words ring hollow until he reverses his statements that condone acts of violence."
CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker also expressed dissatisfaction with the president's comments. "There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media," he said in a statement Wednesday afternoon after the president spoke. "The President, and especially the White House Press Secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that."
At campaign events, President Trump has frequently criticized Democratic leaders such as Clinton and Waters, as well as CNN and the national media.
Trump is expected to hold a campaign rally later this evening in Mosinee, Wisconsin.