Florida man charged over voicemail threats to Democrats

Peter Stubley
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Florida man charged over voicemail threats to Democrats

A 49-year-old man has been charged with making threats to three prominent Democrats in a series of voicemail messages.

John Kless, from Florida, allegedly ranted about gun control and Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar after phoning the offices of US senator Cory Booker and representatives Rashida Tlaib and Eric Swalwell in Washington DC.

The threats were made on 16 April, a few days after Donald Trump criticised Ms Omar over comments she made about the 9/11 terror attacks.

Mr Kless is said to have told Ms Tlaib in one voicemail: “Tell your Taliban friend to shut the f*** up about 9/11.

“This ain’t Trump’s fault, b****. It’s all your people’s fault. You’re the motherf***ers who drove the planes into the buildings, b****.”

In the voicemail left for Swalwell, Mr Kless allegedly said: “The day you come after our guns, motherf***er, is the day you’ll be dead.

He is said to have added: “You’re gonna die. You’ll be your deathbed motherf***er along with all the rest of you Democrats. So if you want death motherf***er, keep that s*** up.”

Mr Kless also allegedly targeted Mr Booker with racist abuse, adding: ​”We need to kill all you motherf***ers man, every f****ing one of you, man.”

In another apparent reference to Ms Omar, the voicemail continued: “Tell your f***ing colleague with the towel on her head to shut the f*** up about 9/11, you f***ing monkey.”

He was arrested on Friday and appeared in court after being charged with making threatening communications.

The US attorney’s office for the Southern District of Florida said in a statement: “According to allegations in the complaint, on April 16, 2019, Kless made multiple threatening communications to the Congressional offices of members from California, Michigan, and New Jersey.”

Earlier this week Ms Omar responded to the US president’s tweet about 9/11 by vowing that she would not be silenced.

“No one person – no matter how corrupt, inept, or vicious – can threaten my unwavering love for America,” the congresswoman added.