Authorities are investigating after a local Republican Party office in North Carolina was vandalised and set on fire in what a state GOP official called an act of "political terrorism."
A bottle filled with flammable liquid was thrown through the window of the Orange County Republican Party headquarters overnight, damaging the interior before burning out, according to a Sunday news release from the town of Hillsborough. The office was empty and no one was injured.
Also, someone spray-painted "Nazi Republicans leave town or else" on a nearby wall.
There were no new developments overnight in the investigation, Hillsborough Police Chief Duane Hampton said in an email Monday morning.
The violent act in the key battleground state has been condemned by public figures across the political spectrum.
A tweet from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton yesterday said the attack "is horrific and unacceptable. Very grateful that everyone is safe."
An hour later, Trump tweeted: "Animals representing Hillary Clinton and Dems in North Carolina just firebombed our office in Orange County because we are winning."
The North Carolina GOP tweeted thanks to both Clinton and Trump for their words of support. In tweets of their own, North Carolina's Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and his Democratic challenger, state Attorney General Roy Cooper both described the violence as a threat to democracy.
"I will use every resource as governor to assist local authorities in this investigation," McCrory's added, and Cooper's said "the culprits must be caught and brought to justice."
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was working with local investigators to solve the crime, which was discovered Sunday morning by another business owner. Republican offices around the state are re-examining their security, state GOP executive director Dallas Woodhouse said.
People sometimes work after-hours in the office, and the bottle appeared to have landed on or near the couch where volunteers sometimes take naps, he said.
"They are working around the clock. It is a miracle that nobody was killed," he said in an interview, calling the fire an act of "political terrorism.