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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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May 30th, 2013
06:05 PM ET

Rep. King: Suspicious letters to Obama and Bloomberg 'virtually identical'

Officials intercepted Thursday a letter addressed to President Barack Obama that was similar to threatening letters sent to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a gun-control group he founded.

"The law enforcement people I've spoken to say that the letters are virtually identical," said Congressman Peter King, R-New York. King is a member of the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Initial testing on the two letters sent to Bloomberg and his group came back positive for ricin, which has become the deadly poison of choice lately for mail attackers.

A source tells CNN that those letters contained the message: "You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. Anyone wants to come to my house will get shot in the face. The right to bear arms is my constitutional God given right and I will exercise that right till the day I die."

It is not clear what was written in the letter to the president. It has been sent to the FBI for testing; CNN has not yet confirmed if it contains ricin.

A source said the letter to the president was postmarked in Shreveport, Louisiana, just like the ones sent to Bloomberg and his gun control group.

Someone sent a ricin-tainted letter to the president, Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker, and a judge seven weeks ago.

"Part of it is copy cat. It's out there and got so much attention when it happened with Senator Wicker and it's really not that difficult," King said of the recent suspicious letters.

Given the media coverage and the fact that "the country is talking about it certainly makes an impact, and if a person feels that strongly about the gun issue in their own perverse way, they may feel this is a way of sending a national signal," said King.

Ricin is lethal and there is no antidote.

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