DETROIT — A Michigan man has been arrested for allegedly calling CNN nearly two dozen times and threatening to kill everyone who worked there, accusing them of producing “fake news,” amid hate-filled rants.
The menacing calls began pouring into the CNN switchboard in Atlanta on Jan. 9 from a number registered to a home in Novi, Michigan, the FBI said.
“Fake news. I’m coming to gun you all down. F — k you, f — king ni—rs,” 24-year-old Brandon Griesemer allegedly told the operator before hanging up.
Several minutes later, Griesemer called back and repeated his threat: “I am on my way right now to gun the f — kin’ CNN cast down. F — k you,” according to an FBI affidavit.
Griesemer allegedly called back 30 minutes later and whispered: “I’m coming for you CNN. 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.”
The calls carried on the next day, when authorities say Griesemer spouted out slurs about Jews, before stating: “You are going down. I have a gun and I am coming to Georgia right now to go to the CNN headquarters to f — king 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.”
CNN managed to figure out who the caller was after bringing in an investigators who was able to trace the number back to Griesemer’s family home in Michigan.
The terrifying calls come at a time of heightened tension for the news media, with President Donald Trump frequently attacking critical press as “fake news,” with CNN being a regular target. Last week, the president unveiled his “Fake News Awards,” naming CNN numerous times. He has also shared several images on Twitter showing him attacking the CNN logo.
Griesemer’s father told the Washington Post that “this whole thing has been a mistake, he really didn’t mean any of it.”
“He didn’t know what he was saying, the seriousness of it. We’re not even gun owners or anything like that. We don’t have any, neither does he,” his father said.
The FBI affidavit also says Griesemer had earlier admitted to phoning in threats to a Michigan mosque in September last year.