The co-founder of Veterans for Ron Paul devoted a segment on his talk show earlier this week to musing aloud about whether or not Mitt Romney should be assassinated.
Adam Kokesh, a prominent Paul supporter who has a YouTube talk show called "Adam vs. The Man" and was backed by Paul in his 2010 congressional bid, read parts of an email from a listener contemplating whether to kill Romney.
"There is a way the nomination can be given to Ron Paul," he read aloud. "There is a way to fix the situation we currently face with Obama versus Romney. Romney needs to die." Kokesh says the email came from a 19-year-old in Mississippi whom he wouldn't name.
In the video, Kokesh says of the email, "I have never endorsed such a plan. I have never suggested such a plan. But I cannot deny that the thought hasn't crossed my mind as well as so many other libertarians and Ron Paul supporters of late."
Kokesh says that "obviously this raises some interesting moral issues" and "it sure is tempting isn't it, to think that you could take out one life and prevent the deaths of so many others."
"Whatever you do, please please please don't forward this video to the Secret Service," Kokesh concludes.
Reached by BuzzFeed, Kokesh clarified that he wasn't endorsing the plan.
"It's a terrible idea," Kokesh, whose show was carried by Russia Today prior to August 2011, said. He added that the Secret Service has not been in touch and taunted the agency for its recent sex scandal.
"No contact yet," he said. "I'm so disappointed. I should have told them I was a cheap whore instead."
"I would think a phone call would be appropriate considering their standard of harassing anybody that says anything remotely close to a threat," Kokesh told BuzzFeed. "I know what I was doing is actually denouncing violence and I don't know, maybe they didn't think it was worth their time."
Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said "We are aware of this issue and we are conducting the appropriate follow-up." Threatening the life of a major presidential candidate is against federal law and carries a fine or sentence of up to five years in federal prison.
Kokesh ran for Congress in New Mexico in 2010 and received Ron Paul's endorsement. Kokesh "has set himself apart as one of the bold young leaders our Country sorely needs as we strive to restore our Freedoms and what has made America the greatest nation in history," Paul said at the time. "I am very happy that Adam has decided to run for Congress and wholeheartedly endorse him.”
Jesse Benton, then the head of Paul's Liberty PAC and now Paul's campaign manager, said Kokesh was a "terrific candidate" at the time.
"Mr. Kokesh is a deeply troubled individual with whom we cut off contact a long time ago," said Benton when told of Kokesh's video. "We have a very cordial and respectful relationship with Gov. Romney and his campaign and reject anyone who would think or talk this way. I hope the Secret Service investigates and takes all appropriate action they find necessary."
With reporting by Zeke Miller.
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