Washington — Police have arrested a Florida man and charged him with making threats by phone last week to freshman U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Detroit, and two other Democratic lawmakers in Congress.
Police say John J. Kless of Tamarac, Florida, called Tlaib and left threatening and profane voicemail messages.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-California) were also threatened during on calls made at 7 a.m. on April 16.
Kless was charged Friday with interstate transmission of threats, according to court records. He could not be reached Monday for comment.
“Hey Taliban,” the voicemail to Tlaib started before referring to Tlaib’s friend and fellow Muslim member of Congress, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota).
“Tell your Taliban friend to shut the [expletive] up about 9/11. This ain’t Trump’s fault, (expletive). It’s all your people’s fault,” the voicemail continued.
The voicemail followed President Trump’s tweet last week targeting Omar for comments she made during a speech on Muslims and civil rights in the United States.
Trump had retweeted a video edited to suggest she was being dismissive of the significance of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, prompting Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to come to her defense.
Omar said last week she received increased death threats that referred or replied to the video, and Pelosi asked U.S. Capitol Police to ensure security measures to protect Omar.