The Secret Service has been alerted to Peter Fonda’s controversial tweet about Barron Trump — at first lady Melania Trump’s request. Now, the 78-year-old actor is apologizing for his statement.
Like many celebrities outraged by the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, the Easy Rider star took to Twitter to express disgust over the mistreatment of migrant children at the border. But it was his reference to Melania and President Trump’s 12-year-old son that got him in hot water.
In a since-deleted tweet, Fonda wrote, “WE SHOULD RIP BARRON TRUMP FROM HIS MOTHER’S ARMS AND PUT HIM IN A CAGE WITH PEDOPHILES AND SEE IF MOTHER WILL STAND UP AGAINST THE GIANT A**HOLE SHE IS MARRIED TO. 90 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE STREETS ON THE SAME WEEKEND IN THE COUNTRY. F***.”
Melania Trump’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement to the Hill that the first lady’s office notified the Secret Service about the tweet on Wednesday. “The tweet is sick and irresponsible,” Grisham said.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Secret Service is aware of the message, but it’s unclear whether a formal investigation has been opened, as the agency does not comment on “protective intelligence.”
Fonda also tweeted and deleted, “WE SHOULD HACK THIS SYSTEM, GET THE ADDRESSES OF THE ICE AGENTS CBP AGENTS AND SURROUND THEIR HOMES IN PROTEST. WE SHOULD FIND OUT WHAT SCHOOLS THEIR CHILDREN GO TO AND SURROUND THE SCHOOLS IN PROTEST. THESE AGENTS ARE DOING THIS CUZ THEY WANT TO DO IT. THEY LIKE DOING THIS. F***”
Fonda is apologizing for his choice of words.
“I tweeted something highly inappropriate and vulgar about the president and his family in response to the devastating images I was seeing on television,” the actor told Yahoo Entertainment in a statement via his publicist. “Like many Americans, I am very impassioned and distraught over the situation with children separated from their families at the border, but I went way too far. It was wrong and I should not have done it. I immediately regretted it and sincerely apologize to the family for what I said and any hurt my words have caused.”
Trump’s policy elicited a strong response from many stars on social media. On Wednesday, the president signed an executive order to halt the process of separating children from their families; however, the “zero tolerance” policy that prosecutes all adults caught crossing the border illegally will not end.
According to the Associated Press, Melania Trump played a key role in changing her husband’s mind. Reportedly, the first lady “had been making her opinion known to the president for some time that she felt he needed to do all he could to help families stay together, whether by working with Congress or acting on his own.”
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