San Diego-based cybersecurity CEO resigns over Trump assassination threat

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DEL MAR, Calif. — The chief executive of a San Diego-area cybersecurity firm has resigned over social media comments he made about assassinating President-elect Donald Trump, it was announced Tuesday.

PacketSled President and CEO Matt Harrigan admitted to posting the seemingly threatening rhetoric — including the statement, “I’m going to kill the president. Elect.” — on his Facebook page as voting results were coming in Tuesday night, though he would later describe his remarks as a “flawed joke.”

Harrigan’s resignation took effect immediately, according to a company statement issued early Tuesday. PacketSled’s Chief Technology Officer, Fred Wilmot, will serve as interim CEO while the company’s Board of Directors searches for a replacement.

“We want to be very clear, PacketSled does not condone the comments made by Mr. Harrigan, which do not reflect the views or opinions of the company, its employees, investors or partners,” according to the statement.

The Del Mar-based company said a statement Monday that it had “immediately reported this information to the Secret Service.” It was not immediately clear if the statements had prompted an official law enforcement investigation.

In Harrigan’s online rant, which was subsequently deleted but later reappeared in screenshots on Reddit, he wrote that he would be “getting a sniper rifle and perching myself where it counts.”

Apparently addressing Trump, the post continued, “Find a bedroom in the whitehouse (sic) that suits you (expletive). I’ll find you.”

When a Facebook friend suggested that the comments could provoke a federal investigation, Harrigan replied, “Bring it. Bring it secret service.”

Harrigan also posted, “In no uncertain terms, f— you America. Seriously. F— off,” and “Really San Diego? Trump? Go f— yourself San Diego.”

On Sunday, Harrigan apologized on Twitter for what he characterized as an ill-conceived attempt at humor.

“My humble apologies that a flawed joke has become public/out of context,” he wrote. “My poor judgement (sic) does not represent the views of @packetsled, customers, investors or the officers of @packetsled. I have no malicious intention towards the (president-elect), and apologize to all for my lack of judgement (sic) and offensive commentary. I wish you all well.”

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