CNN received a call claiming five devices were inside their New York offices following a tweet from President Donald Trump against ‘Fake News’
Roughly a half hour before the bomb threat Trump tweeted “FAKE NEWS – THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”
The building was evacuated during Don Lemon’s “CNN Tonight” which was on commercial break when the threat was made
The New York Police Department closed Columbus Circle while they searched the area for any devices
NYPD cleared the area and allowed traffic to resume and people to enter back into the building
On Thursday night, CNN was evacuated after receiving a bomb threat via a phone call. The caller claimed there were five devices inside the building according to law enforcement.
Staff was told to evacuate CNN’s New York offices in the Time Warner Center building as Don Lemon’s “CNN Tonight” was on a commercial break. CNN Tonight was taken off the air and was replaced with taped programming for about a half hour until the station went live from the street.
The New York Police Department said in a tweet they were conducting an investigation at Columbus at Circle where Time Warner Center is located. As police searched the area, west 58th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue was shut down for vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
Due to a police investigation at Columbus Circle, West 58th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue is closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Please avoid this area. Update to follow.
Due to a police investigation at Columbus Circle, West 58th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue is closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Please avoid this area. Update to follow. pic.twitter.com/856GaNYAFO
— NYPD Midtown North (@NYPDMTN) December 7, 2018
In a second tweet, NYPD stated the bomb threat was made at 10:35 pm. Another tweet corrected the time of the call to 10:07 pm. NYPD stated they were doing a “comprehensive sweep-and-search of the facility.” A bomb squad stayed on standby outside the building while officers searched the area.
Around 10:35pm, a bomb threat was called into the Time Warner Center & the building was evacuated. The threat has not been substantiated at this time; we’re on scene performing a comprehensive sweep-and-search of the facility. We’ll share more info as it becomes available.
Around 10:35pm, a bomb threat was called into the Time Warner Center & the building was evacuated. The threat has not been substantiated at this time; we’re on scene performing a comprehensive sweep-and-search of the facility. We’ll share more info as it becomes available. pic.twitter.com/VtLL2zmilJ
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 7, 2018
NYPD later said the area had been cleared and streets were reopened for traffic.
UPDATE: All CLEAR at Columbus Circle, pedestrian traffic is now open. Thank you for your cooperation. – at Columbus Circle
UPDATE: All CLEAR at Columbus Circle, pedestrian traffic is now open. Thank you for your cooperation. pic.twitter.com/nPEOWuGBV6
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 7, 2018
December 6, 2018
Earlier tonight there was a bomb threat called in to the CNN offices in New York. The NYPD responded immediately and evacuated the building. As a result, we ran taped programming for about a half hour, and then went live from the street outside while the investigation continued. The NYPD has now given us the all clear, and employees have been permitted to return to the building. The building is secure and safe for everyone to return in the morning. We appreciate the swift action by the local authorities, and the patience and professionalism of all the employees who were impacted.
Some people noticed an odd coincidence. Shortly before the bomb threat was made, President Donald Trump sent out a tweet that read, “FAKE NEWS – THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”
FAKE NEWS – THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018
Approximately 44 minutes later, Lemon tweeted about being evacuated from the Time Warner Center due to the bomb threat in the middle of his show.
We were evacuated in the middle of my live show. Bomb threat. We’re running taped programming. NYPD is investigating. Stay tuned. #cnn #nypd
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) December 7, 2018
In October, CNN was one of the many targets who received devices in the mail from 56-year-old Cesar Altieri Sayoc Jr, whom social media named the “MAGABomber.” In total, Sayoc was arrested for sending at least 14 pipe bombs through the mail to high-profile Democrats and CNN.
After claims that Sayoc was a Democrat looking to bring sympathy before the midterm elections, upon his arrest in Plantation, Florida, it was discovered he was a supporter of Trump. The van Sayoc was said to be living in was covered in extreme right stickers.
Many believe Trump’s hateful rhetoric towards any media outlet that goes against him played a major role in Sayoc’s actions. Following Thursday’s incident, the same motive could be assumed. Trump’s tweet against ‘Fake News’ is no longer a vague statement. Followers know the term represents CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post among others.
Trump has constantly beat into his followers’ heads these media outlets are not just his enemy, but an enemy of the people. Mainstream media had already lost the trust of many Americans over the last few years, but Trump’s attacks seem to be turning that distrust into pure unadulterated hatred. To believe that Trump’s words are not possibly being taken to heart by the wrong person[s] is extremely foolish.