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US Secret Service alerted over Peter Fonda's tweets about Barron Trump

Andrew Buncombe

Peter Fonda has apologised for a late-night Twitter fusillade that suggested 12-year-old Baron Trump should be ripped from “his mother’s arms and put in a cage with paedophiles” – an outburst about which the US Secret Service was notified.

The 78-year-old actor, perhaps best known his roles in 1969’s Easy Rider and Ulee’s Gold in 1977, posted a series of tweets in capital letters about the president’s youngest son. He also insulted Donald Trump.

In a flurry of tweets apparently posted in response to Mr Trump’s controversial policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the US-Mexico border, a policy the president suspended on Wednesday by means of an executive order, Fonda also suggested people opposed to the border policy should track down the addresses of federal agents and “surround their homes in protest”.

“We should find out what schools their children go to and surround the schools in protest,” he said.

The tweets resulted in a rapid and outraged response from Baron’s uncle, Donald Trump Jr, and a spokesperson for his mother, First Lady Melania Trump. “You’re clearly a sick individual and everyone is an internet bada – but rather than attack an 11 year old like a bully and a coward why don’t you pick on someone a bit bigger. LMK,” Mr Trump Jr tweeted, using the shorthand internet term for “let me know”.

Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s spokeswoman, told CNN: “The tweet is sick and irresponsible.” She said the Secret Service was notified. A spokesman for the agency said it was aware of Fonda’s tweets but “as a matter of practice” would have no additional comment.

Later on Wednesday, Fonda apologised for this words and deleted the tweets.

“I tweeted something highly inappropriate and vulgar about the president and his family in response to the devastating images I was seeing on television,” Fonda said in the statement, released by both his manager and his publicist.

“Like many Americans, I am very impassioned and distraught over the situation with children separated from their families at the border, but I went way too far. It was wrong and I should not have done it. I immediately regretted it and sincerely apologise to the family for what I said and any hurt my words have caused.”

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