US

Apparent Trump Assassination Tweet Posted by Atlantic Writer Referred to Secret Service

By Zack Stieber

A missive that appeared to suggest a way to assassinate President Donald Trump has been referred to the Secret Service, the agency confirmed.

The controversial post was made on Twitter by Jemele Hill, a writer for the Atlantic and a former ESPN host.

A spokesman for the Secret Service confirmed to the Washington Examiner that the tweet had been referred to the agency, but declined to confirm if an investigation had been launched.

“While the Secret Service is aware of the subject’s comments, we cannot confirm or comment on the absence or existence of specific investigations. We can say, however, the Secret Service investigates all threats related to our protectees,” the Secret Service stated.

Hill made the comment during Trump’s State of the Union speech.

First, actor Desus Nice made a remark on Twitter that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) should shout out during the speech and say “whose mans is this.”

Hill replied in a now-deleted tweet, saying: “Nah, she gotta yell: GETCHO HAND OUT MY POCKET.”

According to the New York Times, the phrase was uttered to distract the bodyguards of Malcolm X on Feb. 21, 1965.

The black civil rights militant activist was speaking to a meeting of the Organization of Afro-American Unity when the disturbance broke out.

When Malcolm X’s bodyguards rushed to quiet the person who spoke out, a man rushed forward and shot him in the chest with a sawn-off shotgun. Two other men charged the stage and fired handguns, hitting him 16 times.

Hill’s apparent reference sparked disbelief among many Twitter users.

“Hey @TheAtlantic is this acceptable from one of your writers? Do you condone it? Or will your inevitable inaction speak for itself? Asking for rational Americans,” said Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, on Twitter.

“She’s saying AOC should distract members in the room so someone else can assassinate Trump. It’s a reference to the shooting of Malcolm X,” added Stephen Miller, a Fox News columnist, on Twitter.

“Some of us get this reference, Jemele. You’re not going to face any consequences for joking about an assassination. But it would be top news if someone said this about Obama,” added another Twitter user.

But Hill later posted that she did not mean the phrase as a reference to assassination.

“Let me be clear: I have often disagreed with many of the president’s policies, his behavior and rhetoric, but I would never call for violence against him, or any person. I apologize for breathing life into such an absurd assumption,” Hill wrote.

She then posted four other times that she had written the phrase, saying she always used it “in a manner where you want to escape or distract from a situation.”

In response to another Twitter user’s question, she admitted that she did mean that if Ocasio-Cortez yelled the phrase, it would be as a distraction. “There were people who looked like they wanted to leave. And if you shout that, it’s your distraction and you can high tail it out the room,” she said.

Hill was suspended from her role at ESPN in 2017 after over tweets about Trump including one claiming the president was a white supremacist, prompting White House press secretary demanding that ESPN fire Hill.

Hill left the sports network in 2018. She joined the Atlantic soon after.