The Missouri teen accused of driving a U-Haul into bollards near the White House expressed admiration for Nazis and stated that he wanted to “get to the White House, seize power, and be put in charge of the nation,” according to an affidavit from a Secret Service officer.
Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, is accused of ramming a rented truck into barricades near the White House on Tuesday morning. He was arrested at the scene, where police allegedly found a Nazi flag in the back of his truck. A statement by a Secret Service officer, submitted alongside Kandula’s arrest warrant, states that Kandula told law enforcement about his admiration for Adolf Hitler.
Kandula did not have explosives or weapons in the U-Haul when he was arrested, according to the Secret Service statement. He told agents that he’d planned an attack on the White House for six months, as part of a bid to “seize power,” the statement says.
When asked how he would seize power, Kandula answered that he would “Kill the President if that’s what I have to do and would hurt anyone that would stand in my way,” prosecutors say.
He also allegedly told Secret Service agents that he hoped to promote his plans for ruling the U.S., which he had written in a notebook.
Kandula told officers that the flag he produced at the scene was a swastika that he had purchased online because “Nazi’s have a great history,” the affidavit says. He allegedly added that he admired Nazis due to their "authoritarian nature, Eugenics, and their one world order” and said that he looked up to “Hitler, because he was a strong leader.”
According to the affidavit, Kandula claimed to have flown from St. Louis to D.C. on a one-way plane ticket. Shortly after arriving, he allegedly rented the U-Haul from a location near the airport and drove straight to the White House. He allegedly stated that he knew his chances of arrest were great, but that he wanted to get attention from agencies like the Secret Service.
The affidavit accuses Kandula of causing more than $1,000 in damage to the barriers outside the White House. He has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, threatening to kill or harm the president, and destruction of federal property.