WASHINGTON, DC -- A package containing the poison ricin and addressed to President Donald Trump was intercepted by federal law enforcement earlier this week, officials told the Associated Press and CNN.
The envelope was intercepted at a government facility that screens mail addressed to the White House and President Donald Trump; two tests were done to confirm the presence of ricin.
Federal investigators were working to determine where the enveloped originated and who mailed it.
"The FBI and our U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service partners are investigating a suspicious letter received at a U.S. government mail facility. At this time, there is no known threat to public safety," the FBI's Washington field office said in a statement.
Ricin is a highly toxic compound extracted from castor beans that has been used in terror plots. It can be used in powder, pellet, mist or acid form. If ingested, it causes nausea, vomiting and internal bleeding of the stomach and intestines, followed by failure of the liver, spleen and kidneys, and death by collapse of the circulatory system.
A Navy veteran was arrested in 2018 and confessed to sending envelopes to Trump and members of his administration that contained the substance from which ricin is derived.
Authorities said the man, William Clyde Allen III, sent the envelopes with ground castor beans to the president, FBI Director Christopher Wray, along with then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, then-CIA Director Gina Haspel, Adm. John Richardson, who at the time was the Navy’s top officer, and then-Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. The letters were intercepted, and no one was hurt.
In 2014, a Mississippi man was sentenced to 25 years in prison after sending letters dusted with ricin to President Barack Obama and other officials.