Longtime Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines said Wednesday one had to ask how much responsibility President Donald Trump bears for the spate of suspicious packages sent to several prominent Democrats on Wednesday.
Suspicious packages were reported Wednesday to have been addressed to Clinton, former President Barack Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and former CIA Director John Brennan at CNN's New York headquarters. Authorities announced one package, that intended for Holder, was found at the office of former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.). There was an issue with the address on the package intended for Holder, and Schultz's office was listed as the return address on the four suspicious packages.
Reines told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell it was important to point out that the Clintons and Obamas had Secret Service protection, but he noted not even prominent officials like Schultz had such robust security.
"If you look at who they've targeted so far, it's almost like they're following Donald Trump's Twitter feed," he said. "You have to be really concerned that while everything so far has not hurt anyone, that might not hold."
The White House swiftly condemned the attempted violence as reports emerged about the packages to Clinton and Obama on Wednesday morning, with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying the "cowards" would be brought to justice.
Reines said Trump did not personally respond swiftly though; Trump tweeted in agreement with Vice President Mike Pence's condemnation of the packages shortly after noon on Wednesday.
Reines harkened back to Sanders' statement that those responsible would be brought to justice and invoked Trump's rhetoric against his political opponents.
"The other part of Sarah Sanders' statement is those who are responsible will be held accountable, and I think you have to ask how much Donald Trump is responsible for the climate that we're in where things like this happen," Reines said.
Statement on suspicious packages: pic.twitter.com/pYSbDvCvuk
— Kayleigh McEnany 45 Archived (@PressSec45) October 24, 2018
Updated 1:26 P.M.: This piece was updated with information that the package was not sent directly to Debbie Wasserman Schultz but arrived at her office as a result of an address error on the package addressed to Eric Holder.