Republican Nominee for President Donald Trump has made a big show out of tossing people out of his political rallies on a whim. From people of color, to anyone who looked remotely suspicious, to credentialed members of the press, to actual protestors hoping to disturb the peace (or complete lack of peace as it usually happens) at his campaign events. More often than not his ejections seem incredibly paranoid or malicious and have no basis in fact behind the removal of participants. This week though, somebody was actually out to harm Trump at his Las Vegas rally before The Secret Service apprehended the would-be assailant in the crowd.
According to The Associated Press, the man is a 19-year old named Michael Steven Sanford originally from the United Kingdom who has been in the United States for over a year. He told authorities his entire plan, which might help an insanity plea but probably doesn’t help if he wants to defend himself in court at all, which involved grabbing a gun off of one of the security guards on duty to avoid the metal detectors and shooting Trump. Sanford has been planning this attack for more than a year and even went so far as getting a backup ticket to the Phoenix rally later in the day and taking shooting lessons at a local gun range in preparation.
He says he was “fully prepared to die” when carrying out his plan, but fortunately things never got that far. Even if guards got to him before he killed or harmed Donald Trump, others in the rally could have been hurt in the showdown. Reports of his anticipated court appearance have not yet surfaced, and it is unclear if he has even hired or been assigned a lawyer at this time. As of now, Sanford is being held on one count of “violence on restricted grounds” for grabbing the handle of a gun, which seems a lesser charge than he should be facing now that he’s confessed his entire assassination plan to the authorities.
(via The AP)