Kentucky legislators take precautions, make statements against domestic terrorism

October 24, 2018 | 5:34 pm

Updated October 24, 2018 | 5:34 pm

Graphic by Owensboro Times

National news has been flooded today with reports of suspicious packages containing potentially explosive devices sent to ranking political officials across the country, including former secretary of state Hillary Clinton in New York and former president Barack Obama in Washington.

CNN reported that similar packages to those sent to Clinton and Obama were sent to California Representative Maxine Waters, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

While there is no evidence of suspicious mail in any of Kentucky’s congressional or senate offices, extra precautions are being taken.

“Our office has received guidance from Capitol Police on safely handling mail, and we will be keeping an eye out for anything unusual being sent to our offices in the coming days,” said Lauren Gaydos, communications director for Congressman Brett Guthrie. “That said, we are grateful for the service of Capitol Police and the Bowling Green Police Department, and are confident that, should a situation arise, the police will respond accordingly.”

Guthrie released a statement earlier today on Facebook stating:

“Is this what our country has come to? Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in unacceptable rhetoric from all sides. People hide behind their computers to leave hateful comments on the internet. Politicians are confronted in public places and have received death threats. My colleagues were attacked at their baseball practice last year. And now people are reportedly sending explosive devices to former presidents. This has got to stop. For the sake of our nation, we need a return of civility to our politics.”

Kelsey Cooper, communications director for the Office of U.S. Senator Rand Paul, declined to comment on security precautions. Paul did make a statement on today’s events.

“We should all stand united against the use of violent acts like those reported today against political and media figures,” Senator Paul said. “I condemn any such acts of violence, they have no place in our politics or society at all.”

Senator Mitch McConnell’s office could not be reached for comment. But McConnell also released a statement, which was published on his website.

“I stand with all Americans in condemning today’s attempted acts of domestic terrorism,” McConnell said. “As we continue to learn more, Americans are united in gratitude for the first responders — the Secret Service, the Postal Service, and other law enforcement — who protect our leaders and public figures from such unconscionable acts.”

October 24, 2018 | 5:34 pm

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