A 24-year-old man from Ohio has been charged in a federal court after tweeting a threat to assassinate President-elect Donald Trump on election night.
Zachary Benson, from Fairview Park in Cleveland, posted the remark on Twitter a few minutes before the Republican nominee was declared the winner of last week’s election.
Benson tweeted: ‘My life goal is to assassinate Trump. Don’t care if I serve infinite sentences. That man deserves to decease (sic) existing.’
Seconds earlier he tweeted: ‘Diplomacy. F***ing fools. I hate you all. I want to bomb every one of your voting booths and your general areas.’
Benson was arrested a few hours later and interviewed by the Secret Service.
After the results were announced, many of those who opposed Trump rushed to Twitter to call for his assassination. But Benson is believed to be the first person to be charged in connection with one of those tweets.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Benson told the Secret Service agent he spent election night drinking and eating at a restaurant with his father and a friend.
He got back home and was watching the election results on TV in his bedroom when he tweeted the remarks.
Benson said he had no intention of following through with the threat and was ‘just frustrated thinking about how President-elect Trump’s policies could affect his job’.
He apparently deleted the tweets when he woke up in the morning, but the Secret Service had already been tipped off about them.
But he has now been charged with making a threat to a successor to the presidency.
Benson made his first appearance in court yesterday and is thought to be in custody, pending a bail hearing.
Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, voted for Clinton over Trump by a margin of 66 per cent to 33 per cent, but Ohio overall went for Trump by nine points.