A man accusing CNN of "fake news" has been arrested in Michigan after he called the network nearly two dozen times and threatened to carry out a mass shooting at CNN's headquarters in Atlanta, investigators say.
Brandon Griesemer, who lives with his parents at a home in Novi near Detroit, was arrested by the FBI and charged with transmitting interstate communications with the intent to extort and threat to injure. He was released on $10,000 bond.
According to court documents, Griesemer came to the attention of police after a phone call was made to the Islamic Center of Ann Arbor in September 2017. During the call, a man allegedly made "derogatory comments" about the mosque and Muslims before hanging up. No charges were filed for that incident.
Several months later, at 3:06 p.m. ET on January 9, a call was made to the publicly listed contact number for CNN. When the operator responded, the caller said: "Fake news. I'm coming to gun you all down. Fuck you, fucking niggers." The caller then hung up.
Another call was made about 3 minutes later, when the man told the operator that CNN employees should kill themselves. He then went on to threaten the network again, saying: "I am on my way right now to gun the fuckin' CNN cast down. Fuck you. .. I am coming to kill you."
About 30 minutes later, a third call was made to CNN and the caller continued to make derogatory comments toward CNN. "I'm coming for you CNN. I'm smarter than you. More powerful than you. I have more guns than you. More manpower. Your cast is about to get gunned down in a matter of hours," the caller said.
An investigator working for CNN used a law enforcement database to find out where the calls were coming from, and determined that the phone number was registered to Griesemer's father. When the investigator called one of the family's phone numbers, Brandon answered the phone.
But the phone calls, which were recorded by CNN, continued. The next day, at about 6:37 p.m., another call was made to CNN from the same phone number that is registered to Griesemer's father.
"You are going down. I have a gun and I am coming to Georgia right now to go to the CNN headquarters to fucking gun every single last one of you," the caller said. "I have a team of people. It's going to be great man. .. You gotta get prepared for this one, buddy."
A spokesperson for CNN said the network had taken "all necessary measures" to ensure the safety of its employees. "We take any threats to CNN employees or workplaces, around the world, extremely seriously. This one is no exception," the spokesperson said.
Details about a possible motive were not immediately known.
CNN and other news organizations have been frequently criticized by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly called the network "fake news" in response to its reporting. In a tweet in February 2017, Trump denounced CNN and 4 other news organizations as "the enemy of the American People."
Published on January 23, 2018 - 12:39am EST