On Monday, San Diego-based cybersecurity firm PacketSled announced that it had placed its CEO on administrative leave after he made a series of Facebook comments threatening to kill President-elect Donald Trump.
“I’m going to kill the president. Elect,” wrote Matt Harrigan, who headed the company specialising in “continuous monitoring, threat detection and network forensics”. “Bring it secret service.”
“Nope, getting a sniper rifle and perching myself where it counts,” he continued. “Find a bedroom in the whitehouse that suits you motherfucker. I’ll find you.”
The comments were first publicised by unofficial Trump subreddit “r/The_Donald” before gaining coverage from conservative media outlets. Soon after, Harrigan apologised for his remarks, characterising them as a “joke”. From PacketSled:
My recent facebook comment was intended to be a joke, in the context of a larger conversation, and only privately shared as such. Anyone who knows me, knows that I do not engage in this form of rhetoric with any level of seriousness and the comment most certainly does not represent my real personal views in any regard. I apologise if anything that I said was either taken seriously, was offensive, or caused any legitimate concern. Best Regards, Matt Harrigan
By the next day, however, it was clear that the rest of the company was not laughing. On Monday, PacketSled deleted Harrigan’s apology and issued a new statement.
“PacketSled takes recent comments made by our CEO, seriously,” wrote the company on its website. “Once we were made aware of these comments, we immediately reported this information to the secret service and will cooperate fully with any inquiries.”