The U.S. Secret Service said Thursday it is investigating comments about President Donald Trump made by a Democratic state lawmaker from Maine in a video posted this week on Facebook.
Responding to a Fox News inquiry regarding remarks by state Rep. Scott Hamann, a Secret Service spokesman replied, “The Secret Service is aware of the comments in question and are investigating the matter.
“Allegations of any threat, inappropriate interest or unusual behavior directed towards a Secret Service protectee receives the highest priority of all our investigations.”
No further details about the investigation were available, the spokesman said.
“For security reasons, we cannot discuss specifically nor in general terms the means and method of how we perform our protective responsibilities,” the spokesman said in a statement.
On Wednesday, after Maine Republicans posted Hamann’s rant on their Twitter page, Hamann said he regretted what he described as his “aggressively sarcastic and inappropriate” comments about Trump.
Hamann had referred to Trump as a “half-term president, at most, especially if I ever get within 10 feet.” Some critics interpreted the comments as a threat of violence against the president.
Following the backlash, the lawmaker said he shouldn't have used such language and claimed he was mainly trying to make a point about the state of political discourse in the U.S.
In the same post, Hamann also described Trump as a “joke” and a “rapist,” and used a crude anatomical term.
One Facebook user, who did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment, replied incredulously to the implicit threat.
“Scott Hamann you plan to kill the President?” the user wrote.
Hamann also took a swipe at the president’s supporters, saying, “I just can't deal with you ignorant people anymore.”
Meanwhile, Hamann praised President Barack Obama, saying he “ran quite possibly the classiest 2 term presidency in US history.”
The Facebook posts have since been deleted, but screen grabs were forwarded to conservative talk radio host Keith Hanson, who hosts both “First Look” and “The Keith Hanson Show” on Fox News affiliate radio stations WNTK and WUVR in New Hampshire and Vermont.
Hanson shared the images with Fox News, as well as Hamann's bosses at the statewide hunger relief organization, Good Shepard Food Bank, where Hamann serves as a program director.
Maine Republican Party Chairman Demi Kouzounas posted Hamann's rant to the Maine GOP Twitter page.
The Maine State House Majority Office then released Hamann’s apology statement.
“While the tone of the post was born out of frustration with the vile language currently surrounding politics, I should not have responded with the same language,” Hamman said in a statement. “This is not language I typically use, it does not reflect my personal values, and while misguided, it was intended to make a visceral point about the developing political discourse in America.”
Hamann has not responded to Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and the Associated Press contributed to this report