Donald Trump

Donald Trump Jnr’s wife taken to hospital after being exposed to ‘white powder’

Vanessa Trump said she was coughing and nauseous after opening envelope addressed to her husband, the president’s son

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 February, 2018, 3:32am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 February, 2018, 1:11pm

Donald Trump Jnr’s wife was taken to a New York City hospital on Monday as a precaution after she opened an envelope addressed to her husband that contained an unidentified white powder, though police later said the substance wasn’t dangerous, authorities said.

The episode happened after 10am when Trump, 40, opened the letter addressed to the president’s son at her mother’s midtown Manhattan flat, investigators said. She called emergency services and said she was coughing and felt nauseous, police said.

“Thankful that Vanessa & my children are safe and unharmed after the incredibly scary situation that occurred this morning,” Donald Trump Jnr wrote on Twitter. “Truly disgusting that certain individuals choose to express their opposing views with such disturbing behaviour.”

The New York Fire Department said it treated three patients who were then taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Police said the envelope contained a letter but provided no other details.

Detectives from the New York Police Department’s intelligence division and Secret Service agents were investigating.

Secret Service Special Agent Jeffrey Adams said in a statement that agents were investigating “a suspicious package addressed to one of our protectees” in New York but said he could not comment further.

Vanessa Trump, a former model, and Donald Trump Jnr have five children, none of whom were home at the time of the incident.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Monday that the president spoke on the phone to Vanessa Trump about the incident.

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Later, the Republican president’s daughter-in-law posted a tweet thanking New York’s police and fire services, the FBI and the Secret Service for their help.

“I appreciate all the quick response to make sure that I was safe! Thank you,” she wrote.

The Trump family has had to deal with a number of similar scares.

In March 2016, police detectives and FBI agents investigated a threatening letter sent to the Manhattan flat of Donald Trump Jnr’s brother, Eric, that also contained a white powder that turned out to be harmless. Envelopes containing white powder were also sent to Trump Tower, which served as Trump’s campaign headquarters, twice in 2016.

Hoax attacks using white powder play on fears that date to 2001, when letters containing deadly anthrax were mailed to news organisations and the offices of two US senators. Those letters killed five people.