There is a line between exercising one’s right to free speech and threatening America’s highest-ranking elected official, and the Secret Service is getting ready to see if Donald Trump’s former butler, Andrew Senecal, has crossed that rhetorical boundary.
Senecal, 84, surprised some followers on Facebook on Wednesday when he posted an online rant in which he seemingly called for the summary execution of President Obama. Senecal’s post, which was re-published by Mother Jones in its entirety, also included harsh words for Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
“To all my friends on FB, just a short note to you on our pus headed ‘president’!!!! This character who I refer to as zero (0) should have been taken out by our military and shot as an enemy agent in his first term!!!!! Instead he still remains in office doing every thing he can to gut the America we all know and love!!!!! Now comes Donald J Trump to put an end to the corruption in government!!!! The so called elite, who are nothing but common dog turds from your front lawn are shaking in their boots because there is a new Sheriff coming to town, and the end to their corruption of the American people (YOU) is at hand!!!! I cannot believe that a common murder is even allowed to run (killery clinton) OR that a commie like bernie is a also allowed to also run!!!! Come on America put your big boy pants on—this election you have a choice—GET YOU’RE A** OUT AND VOTE!!!! Thank you!!!!”
According to Mother Jones, Senecal later acknowledged that the post accurately reflected his views, telling a representative from the magazine “I wrote that. I believe that.”
A report by the New York Times indicates that the vitriolic statements by Donald Trump’s former butler have prompted an investigation by the Secret Service. It’s worth noting that Andrew Senecal’s most recent rant is not his first outburst regarding President Obama, either. Last may, he reportedly called for President Obama to be dragged from his “white mosque” and be hanged. Senecal gleefully added that he would gladly participate in such an event.
In other posts, Trump’s former butler reacted enthusiastically and favorably to a post that referred to First Lady Michelle Obama as “Sasquatch.” Senecal has also expressed an affinity for anti-Semitic conspiracy theories regarding the Rothschild family.
Hope Hicks, a spokesperson for Donald Trump, acted quickly to put some distance between GOP front-runner Donald Trump and his former butler. Hicks said that the Trump campaign disavows Andrew Senecal’s “horrible statements,” and it was further noted that he has not worked at the Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago estate for “many years.”
Despite the Trump campaign’s assertions that Andrew Senecal has not worked at Mar-a-Lago for some time, a lengthy article by the New York Times from earlier this year indicated that Trump’s former butler still maintains an active role in goings-on at the estate.
“Mr. Senecal tried to retire in 2009,” wrote New York Times reporter Jason Horowitz in March. “(B)ut Mr. Trump decided he was irreplaceable, so while Mr. Senecal was relieved of his butler duties, he has been kept around as a kind of unofficial historian at Mar-a-Lago. ‘Tony, to retire is to expire,’ Mr. Trump told him. ‘I’ll see you next season.'”
In addition to being charged with on-site, in-person protection of the President of the United States, the Secret Service also investigates threats made against the chief executive. In 2012, the agency investigated rock and roll star Ted Nugent after he appeared to make a veiled threat against President Obama during a public speech before members of the National Rifle Association.
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