Letter sent to White House containing deadly poison ricin intercepted, officials say

A letter addressed to President Donald Trump that was intercepted before it reached the White House tested positive for the deadly poison ricin earlier this week, law enforcement officials said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations said Saturday afternoon they are investigating "a suspicious letter received at a U.S. government mail facility" alongside its partners at the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Law enforcement officials said a letter was detected at an off-site facility that screens mail addressed to the White House.

"At this time, there is no known threat to public safety," the FBI said in a statement.

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President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
WINSTON-SALEM, USA - SEPTEMBER 8: President Trump holds a Make America Great Again campaign rally in Winston-Salem, NC United States on September 8, 2020 (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
WINSTON-SALEM, USA - SEPTEMBER 8: President Trump holds a Make America Great Again campaign rally in Winston-Salem, NC United States on September 8, 2020 (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
WINSTON-SALEM, USA - SEPTEMBER 8: President Trump holds a Make America Great Again campaign rally in Winston-Salem, NC United States on September 8, 2020 (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
WINSTON-SALEM, USA - SEPTEMBER 8: President Trump holds a Make America Great Again campaign rally in Winston-Salem, NC United States on September 8, 2020 (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
WINSTON-SALEM, USA - SEPTEMBER 8: President Trump holds a Make America Great Again campaign rally in Winston-Salem, NC United States on September 8, 2020 (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
WINSTON-SALEM, USA - SEPTEMBER 8: President Trump holds a Make America Great Again campaign rally in Winston-Salem, NC United States on September 8, 2020 (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
WINSTON-SALEM, USA - SEPTEMBER 8: President Trump holds a Make America Great Again campaign rally in Winston-Salem, NC United States on September 8, 2020 (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
WINSTON-SALEM, USA - SEPTEMBER 8: President Trump holds a Make America Great Again campaign rally in Winston-Salem, NC United States on September 8, 2020 (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
WINSTON-SALEM, USA - SEPTEMBER 8: President Trump holds a Make America Great Again campaign rally in Winston-Salem, NC United States on September 8, 2020 (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
WINSTON-SALEM, USA - SEPTEMBER 8: President Trump holds a Make America Great Again campaign rally in Winston-Salem, NC United States on September 8, 2020 (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
WINSTON-SALEM, USA - SEPTEMBER 8: President Trump holds a Make America Great Again campaign rally in Winston-Salem, NC United States on September 8, 2020 (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
WINSTON-SALEM, USA - SEPTEMBER 8: President Trump holds a Make America Great Again campaign rally in Winston-Salem, NC United States on September 8, 2020 (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
WINSTON-SALEM, USA - SEPTEMBER 8: President Trump holds a Make America Great Again campaign rally in Winston-Salem, NC United States on September 8, 2020 (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
WINSTON-SALEM, USA - SEPTEMBER 8: President Trump holds a Make America Great Again campaign rally in Winston-Salem, NC United States on September 8, 2020 (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
WINSTON SALEM, NC - SEPTEMBER 08: People sing the National Anthem during a campaign rally with President Donald Trump at Smith Reynolds Airport on September 8, 2020 in Winston Salem, North Carolina. The president also made a campaign stop in South Florida on Tuesday. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
WINSTON SALEM, NC - SEPTEMBER 08: People cheer after singing the National Anthem during a campaign rally at Smith Reynolds Airport on September 8, 2020 in Winston Salem, North Carolina. The president also made a campaign stop in South Florida on Tuesday. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
WINSTON SALEM, NC - SEPTEMBER 08: A flag depicting President Donald Trump as Supertrump waves in the wind before a campaign rally at Smith Reynolds Airport on September 8, 2020 in Winston Salem, North Carolina. The president also made a campaign stop in South Florida on Tuesday. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
WINSTON SALEM, NC - SEPTEMBER 08: President Donald Trump addresses a crowd during a campaign rally at Smith Reynolds Airport on September 8, 2020 in Winston Salem, North Carolina. The president also made a campaign stop in South Florida on Tuesday. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
WINSTON SALEM, NC - SEPTEMBER 08: President Donald Trump addresses the crowd during a campaign rally at Smith Reynolds Airport on September 8, 2020 in Winston Salem, North Carolina. The president also made a campaign stop in South Florida on Tuesday. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
WINSTON SALEM, NC - SEPTEMBER 08: President Donald Trump addresses a crowd during a campaign rally at Smith Reynolds Airport on September 8, 2020 in Winston Salem, North Carolina. The president also made a campaign stop in South Florida on Tuesday. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
WINSTON SALEM, NC - SEPTEMBER 08: A man holds a campaign sign for President Donald Trump during a campaign rally at Smith Reynolds Airport on September 8, 2020 in Winston Salem, North Carolina. The president also made a campaign stop in South Florida on Tuesday. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
WINSTON SALEM, NC - SEPTEMBER 08: A man attempts to pump up the crowd before a campaign rally for President Donald Trump at Smith Reynolds Airport on September 8, 2020 in Winston Salem, North Carolina. The president also made a campaign stop in South Florida on Tuesday. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
WINSTON SALEM, NC - SEPTEMBER 08: People cheer for President Donald Trump during a campaign rally at Smith Reynolds Airport on September 8, 2020 in Winston Salem, North Carolina. The president also made a campaign stop in South Florida on Tuesday. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Supporters listen as President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
President Donald Trump stands on stage after speaking at a campaign rally at Smith Reynolds Airport, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
El presidente Donald Trump durante un acto de campaña en el aeropuerto Smith Reynolds, de Winston-Salem, Carolina del Norte, el martes 8 de septiembre de 2020. (AP Foto/Evan Vucci)
Supporters listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Smith Reynolds Airport, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Smith Reynolds Airport, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally at Smith Reynolds Airport, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Supporters of President Donald Trump cheer as he arrives to speak at a campaign rally at Smith Reynolds Airport, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally at Smith Reynolds Airport, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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One official said the letter tested positive to ricin in both a field test and a subsequent laboratory test.

A second official said the FBI, Secret Service and the Postal Inspection Service are trying to determine where the letter came from. It’s unclear when the letter was intercepted.

Other letters that have also tested positive for ricin were discovered in different facilities, an official said. While it is unclear how many additional poisoned letters were found, most of them seem to be addressed to prisons. Only one was apparently addressed to a political figure, the official said.

The White House and Secret Service did not immediately return a request for comment.

Ricin is highly toxic that could cause nausea, vomiting, and internal bleeding of the stomach and intestines. Depending on the severity of the exposure, it can also cause failure of the liver, spleen and kidneys, and death by the collapse of the circulatory system.

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