An envelope addressed to the White House has tentatively tested positive for cyanide after two rounds of analysis, the Secret Service said Tuesday. Additional testing will be necessary to confirm the finding.
The letter was received Monday at a facility that screens mail for the White House and is located away from the grounds of the executive mansion and its surrounding buildings in the heart of downtown Washington.
Initial biological testing came back negative, said agency spokesman Robert Hoback.
Additional testing conducted Tuesday returned a "presumptive positive" for cyanide.
The sample has been taken to another facility for further testing.
The Secret Service, which is responsible for the safety and security of President
Suspicious letters often are sent to some of the country's leading politicians, including the president. Some test positive for hazardous substances while others include threats of death or other physical harm.
In June 2013, a West Virginia man was indicted on charges of threatening to kill Obama and his family in a letter that included profanity and racial slurs. A federal judge later dismissed the charges after forensic handwriting analysis conducted by the Secret Service showed that 20-year-old Ryan Kirker of McMechen, W.Va., didn't write the letter.
Two months earlier, letters sent to Obama, Sen.