A LETTER containing a deadly poison that was addressed to US President Donald Trump was intercepted by security officials this week, it has been revealed.
The suspicious package was discovered at a screening facility for all post entering the White House.
A substance identified through testing as ricin was discovered inside the envelope.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Secret Service are investigating the package’s origin, with one official telling the New York Times it may have been sent from Canada.
There has been no official comment from the Trump administration as yet, with the FBI telling CNN “there is no known threat to public safety.”
Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans.
It can prove lethal if swallowed, inhaled or injected, leading to nausea, vomiting, internal bleeding and, ultimately, organ failure and death. There is no known antidote.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, death from ricin poisoning can occur anywhere between 36 and 72 hours after exposure, depending on the dose.
Ricin gained recent notoriety after featuring heavily in the hit US TV drama series Breaking Bad, where main character Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston, was a keen advocate of its use.
The White House has twice been previously targeted with ricin packages.
Back in 2014, a Mississippi man sent letters dusted with ricin to President Barack Obama and several other White House officials. He was later sentenced to 25 years in prison.
More recently, a Navy veteran sent ricin to the Pentagon and White House in 2018. He too is facing criminal charges over the incident.