Truth Social, the social media company owned by Donald Trump, tipped off the FBI to threats Craig Robertson was making against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg back in March, NBC News reported, citing a senior law enforcement official. FBI agents shot and killed Robertson Wednesday while they were serving a warrant at his home in Provo, Utah.
Robertson pointed a gun at the agents and did not respond to commands, officials told multiple outlets.
Secret Service had also flagged Robertson to the FBI, per the report. All told, Robertson had made threats against a wide swath of officials, including Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Attorney General Merrick Garland.
In one recent alleged post, Robertson wrote on Facebook that “perhaps Utah will become famous this week as the place a sniper took out Biden the Marxist.” Robertson was killed hours before Biden was due to arrive in Salt Lake City. The FBI’s Inspection Division is investigating the shooting.
That Trump’s platform helped attract the FBI’s attention is ironic, given the reaction to the news of Robertson’s killing on the right.
Fox News Host Laura Ingraham did a segment of her Thursday show dedicated to the shooting, where she questioned its necessity, mulling whether we’re “only reserving a concern for police-involved shootings in the inner city when we’re talking about excessive force possibilities.”
She played a clip of a law enforcement pundit saying that we’d seen the dynamic of radicalized individuals moved to violence before, especially on Jan. 6, and that it might happen again. She said that his comment amounted to “a smear, implicit, at least, of millions of Americans who may have supported President Trump or other conservatives implying that they can’t be trusted or, I don’t know, is it when in doubt, shoot first, ask questions later?”
Others in the right-wing media ecosystem are using a similar spin.
“Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander wrote on Telegram that: “The FBI is now killing online critics of Biden.”
Alt-right troll and male supremacist Mike Cernovich tweeted that the killing by an “FBI assassination team” which has “sworn an oath to demons” was “to send a message.”
The New York Post, owned by Fox News’ Rupert Murdoch, gave Robertson a very sympathetic treatment with a piece headlined: “Trump supporter killed in FBI raid was a ‘teddy bear’ who cared for blind son but the ‘type to sleep with gun under his pillow’: neighbor.”
It’s a sign of the fungibility of the right-wing outrage machine that it can so easily switch from fury about “social media censorship” to the “deep state FBI” when conditions serve.