Posted: October 16
Updated: Today at 11:39 AM
Feds probe comment at Palin rally Scranton reporter heard someone yell ‘kill him’ when Obama’s name mentioned.
By Andrew M. Seder firstname.lastname@example.org
– The agent in charge of the Secret Service field office in Scranton
said allegations that someone yelled “kill him” when presidential
hopeful Barack Obama’s name was mentioned during Tuesday’s Sarah Palin
rally are unfounded.
Sarah Palin speaks at the Riverfront Complex in Scranton. AIMEE DILGER Photos/The Times Leader 10/14/2008
Aimee Dilger Related headlines
Scranton Times-Tribune reported the alleged incident on its Web site
Tuesday and in its print edition Wednesday. The story, written by
reporter David Singleton, included allegations that a man in the
audience shouted “kill him” while congressional candidate Chris Hackett
was addressing the crowd and mentioned Obama’s name. News organizations
including ABC and MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” as well as
several Internet blogs, repeated the claim, with most attributing the
allegations to The Times-Tribune.
Agent Bill Slavoski said he was in the audience along with an
undisclosed number of Secret Service agents and not one heard the
“I was baffled,” he said after reading the report.
He said the agency conducted an investigation Wednesday, and could
not find one person to corroborate the allegation other than Singleton.
Slavoski said more than 20 non-security agents were interviewed
Wednesday, all of whom were at the Republican vice presidential
candidate’s rally at the Riverfront Sports Complex.
“We have yet to find someone to back up the story,” Slavoski said.
“We had people all over and we have yet to find anyone who said they
Hackett said he did not hear the remark.
Slavoski said Singleton was interviewed Wednesday and stood by his
story but couldn’t give a description of the man because he said he
didn’t see him, he only heard him.
Singleton referred questions to Times-Tribune Metro Editor Jeff
Sonderman who said: “We stand by the story. The facts reported are true
and that’s really all there is.”
Slavoski said the agents take such threats or comments seriously
and immediately opened an investigation, but after due diligence “as
far as we’re concerned, it’s closed unless someone comes forward.” He
urged anyone with knowledge of the alleged incident to call him at
346-5781. Andrew M. Seder
, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at 570-829-7269.