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Trump supporter pleads guilty to sending bombs to Democrats

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A supporter of President Donald Trump pleaded guilty on Thursday to mailing crude bombs to prominent Democrats including former president Barack Obama and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

[NEW YORK] A supporter of President Donald Trump pleaded guilty on Thursday to mailing crude bombs to prominent Democrats including former president Barack Obama and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Cesar Sayoc, 57, who was arrested in Florida in October, pleaded guilty to 65 counts and could face life imprisonment at his sentencing in September.

He apologised for his actions during an appearance in a US District Court in New York.

The slew of charges relates to 16 package bombs Sayoc sent from a Florida post office to leading Democrats as well as the Manhattan offices of CNN.

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Besides Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton, those targeted included billionaire George Soros, former president Bill Clinton, former vice president Joe Biden, actor Robert De Niro and several Democratic lawmakers, including 2020 presidential hopefuls Cory Booker and Kamala Harris.

None of the packages exploded and most did not come anywhere near their intended recipients.

A former strip club manager and bodybuilder and martial arts practitioner, Sayoc was an ardent supporter of Mr Trump, who has rejected accusations that his rhetoric fuels extremism.

Sayoc, who lived in a white truck plastered with pro-Trump and anti-Democrat stickers, was arrested in Florida five days after the first device was discovered in Soros's upstate New York mailbox.

The episode heightened political tensions in the lead-up to the November 6 US midterm elections, which saw Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives while Republicans retained control of the Senate.

Police found Sayoc's fingerprints and DNA on the packages.

Sayoc has a criminal record dating back to 1991, peppered with convictions for theft, fraud, violence and a threat to blow up his electric utility company.

AFP