Michigan Man Arrested After Phone Threats to Shoot CNN Employees Over ‘Fake News'

A Michigan man has been arrested after authorities say he threatened to travel to Atlanta and kill people at CNN headquarters.

Federal court documents filed in Michigan say 19-year-old Brandon Griesemer of Novi, Michigan, began calling CNN on Jan. 9. He allegedly told a CNN operator, "Fake News. I'm coming to gun you all down."

According to an FBI affidavit, Greisemer allegedly called CNN 22 times over two days and made racist and anti-Semitic comments. 

The phone number was traced to Griesemer's family. Court documents say Griesemer had used the same phone number in September to make threatening calls to an Ann Arbor mosque. The FBI affidavit says Griesemer admitted to local police that he made the call to the mosque. 

Griesemer, a part-time grocery worker, was arrested on a federal charge of making interstate threats by phone, and released the same day after posting $10,000 bond, NBC News reported. He is represented by a public defender.

In a statement Monday, CNN said: "We take any threats to CNN employees or workplaces, around the world, extremely seriously. This one is no exception. We have been in touch with local and federal law enforcement throughout, and have taken all necessary measures to ensure the safety of our people."

The threats were made public just days after President Donald Trump unveiled his "Fake News Awards." Trump, who has frequently clashed with the press, often employs the the term "fake news" in response to reports he doesn't like. CNN has a regular target of the president's "fake news" attacks. In July, the president tweeted a video of himself tackling a figure with the CNN logo over its face and in August Trump retweeted — and then deleted — a photo of a train with Trump's name on it running over the CNN logo, NBC News reported. 

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake called Trump's repeated attacks on the media "repulsive" and said the president "has it precisely backward."

"Despotism is the enemy of the people, while a free press is the despot's enemy and a guardian of democracy," Flake said in a speech on the Senate floor ahead of Trump's "Fake News Awards" reveal.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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