Tlaib, other Dems receive death threats from Florida man

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) leaves after a caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol January 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) was among a handful of Democratic members of Congress to allegedly receive threats from a man in south Florida, according to federal court documents.

(L-R) U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO), and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) in Washington, DC. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

A complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida identifies John Kless as having left threatening voicemails with Tlaib’s Washington, D.C., office. He did the same for two presidential candidates: U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

According to the complaint, Kless called Tlaib’s office on Tuesday morning and called the Muslim congresswoman “Taliban.” He allegedly said her “life will be on the fucking line” in the event of a war against Muslims.

Kless also allegedly used several other racial and derogatory slurs against Tlaib and others, according to the complaint.

A spokesman for Tlaib did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday afternoon.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) smiles after receiving the gavel Jan. 3, 2019 | Win McNamee, Getty Images

Kless also was identified as having left threatening voicemails with the office of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) earlier this year, according to the complaint.

Tlaib is part of a freshman class of high-profile progressive Democrats, along with U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) and Alexandria Ocacio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). President Donald Trump came under fire recently for an anti-Muslim video he tweeted about Omar.

All three have reportedly received death threats.

Nick Manes
Nick Manes covers West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels. His byline also has appeared in Route Fifty and The Daily Beast. When not reporting around the state or furiously tweeting, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Krista, biking around his hometown of Grand Rapids and torturing himself rooting for the Detroit Lions.


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