Anti-Trump social media comments used to suspend chief executive

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A San Diego-area cybersecurity firm announced Monday the suspension of its chief executive over social media comments he made about assassinating President-elect Donald Trump.

PacketSled President and CEO Matt Harrigan admitted to posting the seemingly threatening rhetoric — including the statement, “I’m going to kill the president. Elect.” — on his Facebook page as voting results were coming in Tuesday night, though he would later describe his remarks as a “flawed joke.”

The Del Mar-based company posted a statement on its website stating that it “takes recent comments made by our CEO seriously.”

“Once we were made aware of these comments, we immediately reported this information to the Secret Service and will cooperate fully with any inquiries. These comments do not reflect the views or opinions of PacketSled, its employees, investors or partners. Our CEO has been placed on administrative leave.”

In Harrigan’s online rant, which was subsequently deleted but later reappeared in screenshots on Reddit, he wrote that he would be “getting a sniper rifle and perching myself where it counts.”

Apparently addressing Trump, the post continued, “Find a bedroom in the whitehouse (sic) that suits you (expletive). I’ll find you.”

When a Facebook friend suggested that the comments could provoke a federal investigation, Harrigan replied, “Bring it. Bring it secret service.”

Harrigan also posted, “In no uncertain terms, f— you America. Seriously. F— off,” and “Really San Diego? Trump? Go f— yourself San Diego.”

On Sunday, Harrigan apologized on Twitter for what he characterized as an ill-conceived attempt at humor.

“My humble apologies that a flawed joke has become public/out of context,” he wrote. “My poor judgement (sic) does not represent the views of @packetsled, customers, investors or the officers of @packetsled. I have no malicious intention towards the (president-elect), and apologize to all for my lack of judgement (sic) and offensive commentary. I wish you all well.”

It was not immediately clear if the statements had prompted an official law enforcement investigation.

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