The shock and anger over Donald Trump’s ascension to the White House has triggered a flood of calls on Twitter and other social media outlets for the president-elect to be assassinated — and authorities will investigate all threats deemed to be credible, The Post has learned.
Trump met Thursday with President Obama in the Oval Office, with the Republican businessman calling the hour-plus session a “great honor.” Obama said they had an “excellent” and “wide-ranging” conversation, while urging all people to “now come together.”
But that message of inclusion was apparently lost in social media circles, particularly Twitter, where a simple search can reveal dozens and dozens of calls to gun down the next leader of the free world. Some posts called for both Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence to be assassinated, and there’s even an #AssassinateTrump hashtag.
“Trump chose the literal worst case scenario as VP so nobody would try to impeach or assassinate him,” one user posted on Twitter.
Another user wrote that the “only” remaining question after Tuesday’s historic and polarizing election is who will “assassinate” Trump, who will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. Some users even cited that date as a deadline for the assassination.
Other postings called for users who used the inflammatory hashtag to be contacted by authorities.
Nicole Mainor, a spokesperson for the Secret Service, declined to comment on the posts directly, citing agency policy.
“The Secret Service does not provide information regarding protective services,” Mainor said.
But a security source told The Post that the Secret Service would investigate all social media postings containing credible threats, adding that there’s a difference between someone saying they’re planning to kill the president and suggesting that someone else should attempt an assassination. Generally, indirect threats are not prosecuted, according to the source, and investigators will “prioritize” them before determining their credibility.
FBI officials declined comment, referring inquiries to the Secret Service.
On Saturday, Trump was rushed off a stage in Reno, Nevada, where Secret Service agents took action after an “unidentified individual shouted ‘gun’” in front of the stage. Authorities took the man, Austyn Crites, into custody, but did not find a gun, the Secret Service said in a statement, according to the Washington Post.
The 33-year-old Crites said the incident will change the rest of his life, he told the Reno-Gazette Journal.
“To what extent, that’s still yet to be seen, but I’m very cognizant that there is going to be a portion of the US population that is going to doubt my true intentions no matter what I say,” he told the newspaper. “No matter what background I have, there will always be people who feel that I’m a sellout or something like this.”
Crites, who was holding a “Republicans against Trump” sign at the rally, was released following the incident. He said the subsequent media coverage, including reports accusing the registered Republican of attempting to kill Trump, has been challenging.
“That is an extremely reckless title to put on somebody who loves the nation and would never do anything like that, would never even think of doing anything like this,” Crites said.