An envelope addressed to President Donald Trump contained a substance suspected to be ricin and appeared to be connected to similar envelopes sent to the Pentagon, a law enforcement source told CNN.
Two pieces of mail delivered to the Pentagon mail facility on Monday have initially tested positive for ricin, according to a US defense official.
When asked about the letters sent to the Pentagon, a Secret Service spokesman told CNN that “the Secret Service can confirm receipt of a suspicious envelope addressed to the President on Oct. 1, 2018.”
“The envelope was not received at the White House, nor did it ever enter the White House,” the spokesman continued.
A source familiar with the ongoing joint federal investigation said that based on preliminary investigative activity, the White House and Pentagon letters were believed to be connected and the substance in question was a very crude castor bean concoction that authorities were not technically calling “ricin” until further testing.
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.
The two suspicious envelopes sent to the Pentagon were addressed to Secretary of Defense James Mattis and to chief of naval operations, Adm. John Richardson, the official told CNN.