A Sabattus town official is under federal investigation and facing fierce criticism after he posted a message on Facebook calling for President Obama to be shot and referring to him with a racial slur.
David Marsters, 68, who is running for selectman, says he told Secret Service agents who questioned him Tuesday that he was not threatening the president when he posted the message at 8:17 p.m. Friday. It appeared above a picture of Obama and a link to a story about how some Republican lawmakers think the president deserves to be impeached.
The message said, "Shoot the …" and included a racial slur.
"I think it’s a lot of hogwash," Marsters said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "I did not threaten the president. … I might have used the wrong words. … I didn’t say I was going to do it."
He said his post was taken out of context.
"What I really meant to say is, ‘When are we going to get rid of this (expletive),’" he said. "I should have said, ‘I hope the bastard dies.’"
Marsters said that after his Facebook post drew public scrutiny, he was visited by local law enforcement officers, the Secret Service and CIA agents. Marsters said a Secret Service agent told him he was not being arrested immediately, but the agent would submit a report to a higher authority.
Calls to the Secret Service were not returned Tuesday. The agency, which protects the president, investigates all threats against him.
Civil rights advocates and local leaders condemned Marsters’ post, saying it was outrageous, an embarrassment for the town and a betrayal of law enforcement. Marsters is a retired police officer from Massachusetts.