A phrase popularized by President Trump has been used by a man to threaten CNN employees. Federal court documents disclosed on Monday that a 19-year-old Michigan man—Brandon Griesemer—frequently called the network, citing that because they were reporting “fake news,” he would “gun you all down.” He made 22 calls to CNN’s Atlanta headquarters between Jan. 9 and 10, Detroit’s ABC-affiliate WXYZ reported.
The court documents also showed that four of those calls involved threats. Some messages he left included:
“Fake news. I’m coming to gun you all down.”
“I’m smarter than you. More powerful than you. I have more guns than you. More manpower. Your cast is about to get gunned down in a matter of hours.”
“I am coming to Georgia right now to go to the CNN headquarters to fucking gun every single last one of you ... I have a team of people. It's going to be great, man...You gotta get prepared for this one, buddy.”
According to WXYZ, a CNN investigator found Griesemer through a law enforcement database, and traced the called to a suburb of Detroit. The FBI later captured the suspect. WXYZ also reported that he had a history of making violent calls, and was in the database because he had previously threatened the Islamic Center of Ann Arbor in Sept. 2017.
CNN made a statement after the news of the arrest surfaced:
The fact that the suspect used the term “fake news” has been fairly distressing for many, who have taken to social media to express their concern.
According to CNN, on Friday in the U.S. District Court, Griesemer was charged with “transmitting interstate communications with the intent to extort and threat to injure.” While he was released that day on a $10,000 bond, he could still be fined or serve up to five years if found guilty.