Federal authorities arrested a man accused of leaving homophobic and racist death threats on the voicemails of several Democratic politicians.
John Kless, 49, from Tamarac, South Florida, has been charged for leaving intimidating messages to the Washington Offices of US Senator Cory Brooker and US Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Eric Salwell on Tuesday (16 April), according to US Capitol Police.
Among the homophobic threats reportedly sent, people were targeted for their platforms and their race, according to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint.
He also defended Donald Trump
Kless targeted LGBTI ally Cory Booker on 16 April. He repeatedly called him the n-word and a ‘monkey’.
He added: ‘we’re going to have a war in this country motherfuckers… you’re going to be the motherfuckers who pay.’
Less than half an hour earlier he targeted Tlaib, who is a Muslim, saying: ‘it was your Taliban, bitch, who fucking opened her fucking towel head mouth about “some people did it”‘.
This is in reference to statements made by Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar. The controversial reference to 9/11 provoked a Twitter response by Trump, which included footage of her speech split between footage of the Twin Towers burning. Many have labeled his actions ‘dangerous’ and resulted in a man sending death threats to the politician.
Kless also defended Trump in his threats: ‘This ain’t Trump’s fault … it’s all your people’s fault. You definitely don’t tell our president, Donald Trump, what to say.’
Californian politician Eric Swalwell, who is running for president on an anti-gun platform, was told taking guns away from Americans would be his ‘death bed’.
Kless said: ‘The day you come after our guns, motherfucker, is the day you’ll be dead.’
He also called Swalwell the n-word, even though Swalwell is white.
The US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida said Kless was arrested Friday and made an initial appearance in court. His bail includes the conditions he be tracked with a GPS monitor and that he stay away from guns and the people he threatened.