Crime & Justice

Secret Service questions man who sent horse manure to Treasury secretary

Photo posted on Twitter by Robert Strong of Eagle Rock. Strong said he was the person who put horse manure in a gift-wrapped box left near the Bel Air home of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on the night of Dec. 23.
Photo posted on Twitter by Robert Strong of Eagle Rock. Strong said he was the person who put horse manure in a gift-wrapped box left near the Bel Air home of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on the night of Dec. 23.
Twitter

Authorities say a gift-wrapped box of horse manure addressed to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was found near his Los Angeles home — and the man who says he sent it told KPCC that it was a political act.

The package was found Saturday night in the tony Bel Air neighborhood after it was dropped off at a neighbor's house. The Los Angeles Police Department's bomb squad was called to the home and officers opened the box to find the manure.

Secret Service spokesman Cody Starken said Monday that the agency was contacted by Los Angeles police and interviewed a person who claimed responsibility. He declined to identify the person.

Robert Strong said in an interview with KPCC that he sent the manure to Mnuchin because he believed the recently passed tax plan was corrupt and "brazenly ripping off the American people."

"What I did, I would like to compare to what Jesus did when he went into the temple and overturned the tables of the moneychangers, who were exploiting the people financially in the name of religion. I feel like that's what the GOP has done to the American people," he told KPCC.

Strong works as a psychologist for the L.A. Department of Mental Health and said he realized he might be putting his job at risk. In fact, he said he was surprised he hadn't been arrested. But, for him, the political is very personal.

Strong, who said he was an organizer for Occupy L.A., connects the "intense increase of homelessness" he has seen in the past few months with economic policies promoted by the Trump administration.

"In the long run, if we don't do stuff like this, what are we going to have left?" he told KPCC.

He also tweeted about his act.

strong tweet

Strong said he "borrowed" some manure from a friend who owns horses, put the manure in a box, gift-wrapped the box and wrote a card that read: "Dear Misters Trump and Mnuchin, we are returning your Christmas gift of the Republican tax plan because it's complete horse s**t. Sincerely, the American people."

Steven Mnuchin arrives at Trump Tower in New York for meetings with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on November 17, 2016.
Steven Mnuchin arrives at Trump Tower in New York for meetings with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on November 17, 2016.
EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images

This story has been updated.