Oct 26, 2019

Secret Service interviewed rapper Eminem over Trump lyrics

Rapper Eminem. Photo: Kevin Mazur / Contributor/Getty Images

Secret Service agents interviewed Eminem about lyrics "threatening" President Trump, according to documents newly obtained by BuzzFeed News.

The state of play: The lead track on an August 2018 album attracted social media buzz because of the lyrics, in which Trump critic Eminem claimed he was visited by the Secret Service: "'CauseAgent Orange just sent the Secret Service / To meet in person to see if I really think of hurtin' him / Or ask if I’m linked to terrorists / I said, 'Only when it comes to ink and lyricists.'"

Fast-forward: The agency overturned documents this week that illustrate agents interviewed the rapper, describing him as "exhibiting inappropriate behavior" and suggesting his music, "threatens protectee."

What they found: Per the documentation, on the day the musician's album was released "a concerned citizen reported Marshall Mathers the rapper 'Eminen' had a new song called 'Framed' with an inappropriate comment towards President Donald Trump and a threatening comment towards Ivanka Trump."

  • The documents indicate the "concerned citizen" was a TMZ employee.
  • Hours before the complaint, TMZ published a story about Eminem’s lyrics criticizing Trump.
  • The agency's Protective Intelligence and Assessment Division completed a background check on the artist and an interview took place in early 2018 with Eminem and his legal team.

The impact: "[I]t was determined that this case will be NON-REFERRED" to federal prosecutors, per the documentation.

Go deeper

DOJ to treat antifa involvement in protests as domestic terrorism

Barr and Trump. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr said in a statement Sunday that the Justice Department will use its network of 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces to identify the "criminal organizers and instigators" of violence during the George Floyd protests, including antifa and similar groups.

Why it matters: Barr, President Trump and other members of the administration have pinned the blame for riots and looting over the past few days of protests against police brutality on antifa, a loosely defined far-left movement that uses violence and direct-action protest tactics.

2 hours ago - Technology

Trump and Zuckerberg share phone call amid social media furor

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

In the week that President Trump took on social media, Axios has learned that he had a call Friday with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that was described by both sides as productive.

Why it matters: With the White House and Twitter at war, Facebook has managed to keep diplomatic relations with the world's most powerful social-media devotee.

Twitter, Google lead chorus of brands backing George Floyd protests

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Twitter and Google are among the dozens of brands over the past 24 hours that have taken public stances in favor of Americans protesting racial equality. Some companies have changed their logos in solidarity with the movement, while others have pledged money in support of efforts to address social injustice.

Why it matters: The pressure that companies feel to speak out on issues has increased during the Trump era, as businesses have sought to fill a trust void left by the government. Now, some of the biggest companies are quickly taking a public stand on the protests, pressuring all other brands to do the same.