Man threatened to blow Trump’s brains out, feds say

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit — A man was charged in federal court Tuesday with threatening to assassinate President Donald Trump and blow “white brains” out of his head.

Truck driver James Anthony Jackson issued the threats during repeated phone calls to the U.S. Secret Service office earlier this month, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday.

He was born in 1984 but a hometown was not available and the U.S. Attorney’s Office refused to discuss the case.

The case illustrates the stream of threats issued against a polarizing president, particularly on social media, since Trump won election last year. Threatening the president is a five-year felony.

Jackson is in custody in Washington state after being arrested in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The federal court in Idaho does not schedule hearings every day so Jackson was arraigned Tuesday in nearby Spokane, Wash.

He is being held without bond pending a hearing Friday in federal court in Spokane, Wash. His court-appointed lawyer, Jay McEntire, could not be reached for comment immediately Tuesday.

He denies the allegations and plans to argue for his release Friday, said John B. McEntire IV, his federal defender.

Jackson made several calls that escalated in threatening behavior, according to the complaint.

From Oct. 12-13, Jackson repeatedly called the Secret Service field office in Chicago, Special Agent Matthew Lariviere wrote in the complaint.

“Better watch Donald Trump ass, ya bitch,” Jackson said, according to court records. “Ya’ll think someone playing with yo dumbasses, I am going to blow white brains out ... his (expletive) head.”

It appeared Jackson was masking his real number, according to the agent.

On Oct. 18, Jackson made more phone calls to the Secret Service field office in Detroit, the agent wrote.

“Why ya’ll messing with my wires,” Jackson said, according to the court filing. “I’m going to blow Trump’s brains out.”

Jackson called from a phone with a 616 area code number.

The number was registered to James Jackson Profit Group LLC in Grand Rapids, according to the agent. The company, which does not appear in state business records, is linked to an outreach center in Grand Rapids.

Phone records also showed Jackson frequently called a woman in the 517 area code. The woman told investigators she had met a man online named “Jamie” who had harassed and threatened her from the same Grand Rapids-area phone number used by Jackson.

Jamie threatened to “cut off her head and parade it in front of the White House for Trump,” according to the court filing.

On Friday, investigators interviewed Jackson’s uncle.

Jackson had cursed and threatened relatives, the uncle said.

Agents played a recording of one of the Trump threats for Jackson’s sister and she confirmed the voice belonged to Jackson, according to the complaint.