A Facebook post suggesting a Florida congresswoman be lynched following her public feud with President Donald Trump over his phone call to a Gold Star family has prompted the FBI to contact authorities in Chicago’s northern suburbs.
Special Agent Garrett Croon told NBC 5 Tuesday the bureau was familiar with the post about Rep. Frederica Wilson and the agency was talking with Des Plaines police.
"We are aware of a social media posting generated in Des Plaines, IL and are in contact with local authorities,” Croon said in an email.
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Screenshots of the Facebook post — which appears to have been deleted along with the user’s account — are being shared on social media, and some have claimed its creator is a former police officer.
Croon said he did not know if the alleged author was a police officer.
Des Plaines police did not respond to multiple emails and phone calls requesting comment. Chicago police referred questions to Capitol Police, citing a department policy to not comment on threats or security measures for public officials. Capitol Police said they do not comment on "ongoing investigations."
The alleged post, which NBC 5 has not verified the authenticity of, contains an image of a glum-looking Wilson in one of her flamboyant signature cowboy hats.
“Need ten good men to help carry out a lynching,” it reads. “Must have own horse and saddle. Rope will be provided.”
The Chicago Tribune reports that 54-year-old Des Plaines resident Tom Keevers says he is receiving death threats after an "anonymous 'meme-maker'" twisted his words in a Facebook post.
Calls to a phone number listed under Keevers' name were not immediately returned.
The paper reports Keevers floundered through an interview in which he says he didn’t write the post, could not remember threatening to lynch the congresswoman and that it was possible someone used his words to make a meme.
"Don’t people get in arguments on Facebook all the time?" the Tribune reports Keevers as saying, before he doubled down on his initial defense: "I did not use those words."
The post comes after a public tumult between Wilson and Trump surrounding the congresswoman’s claim the president botched a condolence call to the pregnant widow of a Green Beret killed in Niger earlier this month along with three of his comrades. Wilson said Trump told the slain soldier's widow her husband knew “what he signed up for." Wilson accused Trump of being insensitive.
The pregnant widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, Myeshia Johnson, said Monday the phone call she received from Trump before meeting her husband’s body at Dover Air Force Base made her more upset as the president struggled to remember her spouse’s name, NBC News reported.
She said that’s when Trump told her that her husband "knew what he signed up for but it hurts anyways,"
"I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!" Trump tweeted in response.
Calls and emails to Wilson’s office were not responded to but a statement on her website stands by her assertion that Trump fumbled the phone call.
"Despite President Trump's suggestion that I have recanted my statement or misstated what he said, I stand firmly by my original account of his conversation with Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson," the statement reads in part. "Moreover, this account has been confirmed by family members who also witnessed Mr. Trump's incredible lack of compassion and sensitivity."
Meanwhile, in Des Plaines, authorities continue to investigate the alleged Facebook threat.
"People threaten Donald Trump all the time and nothing happens," Keevers told the Tribune. "I don’t think a lot about what I write on Facebook."
Threatening a member of Congress, which is a federal crime, can carry a prison sentence of up to five years.
Keevers was honored by the FBI in 2003 for helping apprehend a bank-robbery suspect, the Tribune reported at the time.