White powder mailed to Barack Obama’s office building in Washington DC

Authorities deem substance non-hazardous but investigation continues

Emily Shugerman
New York
Tuesday 13 February 2018 21:20 GMT
Former president Barack Obama speaks to a gathering of more than 50 mayors and other guests during the North American Climate Summit
Former president Barack Obama speaks to a gathering of more than 50 mayors and other guests during the North American Climate Summit (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating a suspicious package filled with white powder shipped to the building in Washington, DC where former President Barack Obama leases an office.

DC Fire and EMS were dispatched at 11:05 on Tuesday morning to assist law enforcement in investigating an unknown substance, Public Information Officer Vito Maggiolo told The Independent.

Mr Obama has leased offices in the building since he left the White House in 2017. The building also contains the headquarters of the World Wildlife Fund, an environmentalist group.

A spokesperson for the US Secret Service, which also responded to the scene, said that the package was not addressed to any Secret Service protectees. Mr Obama lives with his family in the nearby Kalorama neighbourhood. It was unclear whether he was in the office at the time the package was received.

Authorities determined the substance was nonhazardous, and no one was harmed or evacuated, Mr Maggiolo said.

According to Fox News, the package was mailed from Hong Kong, with no return address. It reportedly contained baby powder.

President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Vanessa Trump, received a letter containing a white powder the day before.

Ms Trump and two other people were transported to a local hospital as a precaution, but suffered no negative effects. Investigators believe the substance was corn starch, according to NBC. That letter was reportedly postmarked from Boston.

Ms Trump’s husband, Donald Trump Jr, tweeted that afternoon that he was “thankful that Vanessa & my children are safe and unharmed after the incredibly scary situation that occurred this morning”.

He added: “Truly disgusting that certain individuals choose to express their opposing views with such disturbing behaviour.”

"No one deserves to be frightened this way," Mr Trump Jr's sister, Ivanka Trump, tweeted.

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