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Mitch McConnell Event Canceled After Suspicious Packages Force Evacuation

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MITCH MCCONNELL
AP

WASHINGTON -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday canceled a meeting with constituents after suspicious packages forced an evacuation of the facility he was scheduled to visit.

McConnell was supposed to go to the Kentucky Consular Center as part of a tour of southeastern Kentucky, according to the Corbin News Journal. He was only scheduled to stop by the center before heading to another reception to meet with constituents and give remarks on the Supreme Court's decision to uphold President Barack Obama's health care law.

But ahead of his visit, the center was evacuated and ultimately closed for the day after two suspicious packages arrived in the mail. Both contained "an unknown substance," according to the local police chief. The FBI and Hazmat were called in and three workers in the mail room were decontaminated. Authorities were still conducting tests on the substance later Tuesday.

Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird told the Corbin News Journal that the packages don't appear to be related to McConnell's visit, though authorities said they believe the two packages are connected to each other.

"We think the arrival of the packages and the senator being here at this point is just coincidental. Because of the incident, he has been diverted," Bird said.

McConnell spokesman Don Stewart confirmed that the senator had to call off the event and told The Huffington Post that the subsequent reception with constituents was moved to another location. He emphasized that authorities said the packages didn't appear to be connected to McConnell's visit.

"All is well," Stewart said.

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