Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in his office at Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, May 10, 2016.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in his office at Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. AP Photo - Mary Altaffer

Trump's butler questioned over Obama death threats

ANTHONY Senecal, the longtime butler of Donald Trump, said he had already been questioned by the Secret Service over messages he posted on social media calling for the death of Barack Obama.

The 84-year-old, who filled the intimate role for the presumptive Republican nominee until 2009, said that a Secret Service agent and three police officers visited him at his home in Lake Worth, Florida, on Thursday evening.

"They came to my apartment. There was one Secret Service agent and three sheriff's deputies," he told The Independent. "They basically asked if I had a gun and whether I wanted to go to Washington."

Asked if he believed the agency was taking the messages he posted on Facebook seriously, he said: "They have to."

Mr Senecal, the subject of a lengthy profile in the New York Times earlier this year, found himself in the headlines again this week after Mother Jones magazine revealed that the former butler had made a series of postings on Facebook that called for Mr Obama to be killed.

In a conversation during which he appeared several times to contradict himself, Mr Senecal said that he had not threatened Mr Obama. He then added: "I think he is a traitor and a fraud. I think he should be hung [sic] or thrown in the electric chair."

He added: "I'm old mean."

A number of Mr Senecal's online postings contained language that many have said was racist. He denied they contained racist language or that he was a racist.

"Not true. I'm not a racist. Never have been, never will be."

In one recent Facebook post, Mr Senecal wrote: "To all my friends on FB, just a short note to you on our pus headed "president" !!!! This character who I refer to as zero (0) should have been taken out by our military and shot as an enemy agent in his first term !!!!!"

He added: "Instead he still remains in office doing every thing [sic] he can to gut the America we all know and love !!!!!"

Asked if the agent or police officers had asked him to stop making his posts or repeating his comments, he said: "No, they did not. They could not ask me to stop - it's my constitutional right."

The Trump campaign has distanced itself from Mr Senecal, who said he still worked as an unofficial historian at the tycoon's estate.

Hope Hicks, a campaign spokeswoman, said in an email: "We totally and completely disavow the horrible statements made by him."

The Secret Service said on Friday it could not comment on the details of the case. In a statement released earlier this week it said it was "aware of this matter and will conduct the appropriate investigation."



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