A Michigan man has been arrested after threatening a mass murder of employees at CNN, according to a recently released federal affidavit.
It was 3 p.m. on Jan. 9 when the phone first rang at CNN’s headquarters in downtown Atlanta.
“Fake news. I’m coming to gun you all down. F‑‑‑ you, f‑‑‑ing n‑‑‑‑‑s,” a caller barked at the operator who picked up the phone.
Click. Then another, a few minutes later: “I am on my way right now to gun the f‑‑‑in’ CNN cast down. F‑‑‑ you,” the caller said.
The operator asked the man his name.
“F‑‑‑ you,” he responded. “I am coming to kill you.” Then he hung up again.
A half hour went by. Then the call, again. This time the man whispered. “I’m coming for you, CNN. I’m smarter than you. More powerful than you. I have more guns than you ... Your cast is about to get gunned down in a matter of hours.” He hung up again.
An investigator traced the number to Michigan, where it was found to be registered to the father of the alleged caller, who was now identified as Brandon Griesemer.
The investigator called the number asking for the father, and a different man answered saying he was not home. The investigator believed this was Brandon, the man who called CNN, according to the affidavit.
The next day, CNN headquarters received yet another phone call, according to the affidavit. The man lobbed insults at Jewish people before saying “I have a gun and am coming to Georgia right now to go to CNN headquarters and f----ng gun every single last one of you. I have a team of people. It’s going to be great, man.”
It’s not the first time Griesemer has been in trouble with police over phone calls. In September of 2017, police spoke with Griesemer after he admitted to making insulting and derogatory calls to an employee at a mosque in Ann Arbor, according to the affidavit. He told police he was “angry” when he made the call, according to court documents.
Griesemer was arrested and could face a fine or up to five years in prison if convicted, CNN reported. He was charged with using interstate communications with intent to extort, threaten or injure, and is free on a $10,000 bond, the Washington Post reported.
“We take any threats to CNN employees or workplaces, around the world, extremely seriously. This one is no exception,” CNN said in a statement. “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.”
Griesemer’s father told the Washington Post his son “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.”
CNN has faced a deluge of public accusations of bias from President Donald Trump and others associated with the executive.
The president awarded CNN the lion’s share of his “Fake News Awards” on Jan 17, and garnered criticism over the summer for retweeting a video showing himself body-slamming a man with the CNN logo superimposed on his face. Under the video, he wrote “#FraudNewsCNN.”
On Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump again referred to CNN as “Fake News CNN” in a tweet celebrating the end of the government shutdown.