Tweet sparks ru­mor of ‘sus­pi­cious’ Kaine pack­age

Sen. Kaine in­formed prior to Dinwiddie stop; false alarm con­firmed

The Progress-Index Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By Bill Atkin­son As­sis­tant Edi­tor

A Twit­ter post­ing ap­pears to have been the trig­ger of some brief con­cern Fri­day that Vir­ginia Sen. Tim Kaine may have been tar­geted as one of sev­eral prom­i­nent Demo­cratic lead­ers to re­ceive a pipe-bomb from a south Florida man now in fed­eral cus­tody.

The tweet, dated at 10:48 a.m. Oct. 26, in­cluded a photo of a UPS store in an uniden­ti­fied lo­ca­tion cor­doned off with po­lice tape, with an emer­gency ve­hi­cle in the fore­ground. The mes­sage above the photo read, “Sus­pi­cious pack­age for Tim Kaine, Sen­a­tor in VA now held at UPS store…”

Kaine, who is op­posed in his re-elec­tion bid by Repub­li­can Corey A. Ste­wart, was walk­ing into a cam­paign stop in Dinwiddie County Fri­day af­ter­noon when he re­ceived word of the tweet. He men­tioned it briefly at the start of his re­marks and in a later in­ter­view with The Pro­gressIn­dex, adding that his staff was still try­ing to con­firm ex­actly what tran­spired.

Ear­lier Fri­day, fed­eral au­thor­i­ties an­nounced they had ar­rested Ce­sar Sayoc, 56, of Aven­tura, Fla., in con­nec­tion with the week­long bomb scare that saw prom­i­nent Democrats and other crit­ics of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, tar­geted with sus­pi­cious pack­ages sent to their homes or of­fices. On that list were former Pres­i­dents Bill Clin­ton and Barack Obama, as well as 2016 Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton, and sev­eral Demo­cratic sen­a­tors and

mem­bers of Congress.

Kaine was Hil­lary Clin­ton’s run­ning mate on the 2016 Demo­cratic ticket.

A Kaine spokesman con­firmed Sat­ur­day that the pack­age ad­dressed to the sen­a­tor was from a friend. But given the high level of con­cern, au­thor­i­ties acted on the side of cau­tion.

On Fri­day, Kaine called the ini­tial re­ports “un­set­tling” and said he had warned his fam­ily and staff about ac­cept­ing pack­ages in the wake of the spree.

A re­view by The Progress-In­dex of the Twit­ter user's ac­count showed only one

retweet, and no ad­di­tional com­ments or up­dates about the pack­age. There are sev­eral retweets by the ac­count holder of con­ser­va­tive­lean­ing posts.

The user de­scribes him­self on Twit­ter as a lead de­signer for a graphic-novel se­ries and a “hater of po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness.”

Kaine’s spokesman said the sen­a­tor would

not com­ment on the Twit­ter ac­count or its holder.

Fed­eral au­thor­i­ties have iden­ti­fied 14 pack­ages linked to the sus­pect, adding more may still be out there.

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