CNN office evacuated due to bomb threat
Police closed off 58th Street, where the Time Warner building housing the CNN headquarters is located.
I was at Whole Foods, in the basement of the sprawling Time Warner Center complex, when I heard sirens upstairs. Now 58th St is closed off. pic.twitter.com/DEg3cW5eBB— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) December 7, 2018
The alarm went off in the CNN newsroom after 10pm, signaling the evacuation.
Columbus Circle for a block around is evacuated due to a bomb threat at CNN pic.twitter.com/dIXmulifqS— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) December 7, 2018
After CNN resumed its live coverage, Lemon said that a “call was made from the southern part of the United States.” The caller said there were as many as five bombs planted in the building, according to the anchor.
The staff was told to immediately vacate the premises. “We grabbed what we could and got out of the building and now we’re standing out front there,” Lemon said.
A bomb squad, police cars and emergency vehicles were rushed to the scene.
Police gave the all-clear and reopened traffic after failing to discover any explosives less than two hours after the alert.
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
It didn’t take long for some people to link the bomb threat to US President Donald Trump and his war of words with the mainstream media. Less than an hour before the threat was phoned in to CNN, Trump had tweeted: “FAKE NEWS – ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!” The tweet does not mention CNN by name, but “fake news” is his go-to description of almost all mainstream outlets, including CNN.
The bomb alert comes less than two months after the CNN offices at the Time Warner Center were similarly evacuated due to what later turned out to be a pipe bomb, sent by Trump supporter Cesar Sayoc.
Prominent Democrats, including ex-US President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, mega donor George Soros, and former Attorney General Eric Holder received similar packages. Sayoc, who was tracked down to Florida and arrested on October 26, faces life in prison for sending at least 16 mail bombs in total.
While none of the devices actually detonated, the FBI said they were not fake. The one sent to CNN was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, who is a contributor to MSNBC and NBC News, but has no relation to CNN.
While none of the devices had actually detonated, the FBI said that they were not dummies. The one sent to the CNN was addressed to former CIA director John Brennan, who is a contributor to MSNBC and NBC News but has no relation to CNN.