The 19-year-old man who was arrested and charged after crashing a truck into barriers near the White House told law enforcement that he intended to "seize power" and to "kill the president."
Sai Varshith Kandula of Chesterfield, Missouri crashed into barriers near Lafayette Park around 1am in a white U-Haul truck. While no one was injured, authorities found a Nazi flag with him upon his detainment.
Kandula was immediately arrested on charges of threatening to kill or harm a president, vice president, or family member. He was also charged with assault using a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, and trespassing.
According to court records, Kandula told agents that his goal was to “get to the White House, seize power, and be put in charge of the nation” and that he intended to “kill the President if that’s what I have to do and would hurt anyone that would stand in my way.”
Kandula evidently believed his attempt was successful, continuing: “Whether I got into the White House or not, my message was received.”
When questioned about the Nazi flag he was carrying, Kandula said that he admires their “authoritarian nature, eugenics, and ... one world order." He openly praised Adolf Hitler, noting he purchased the flag online because “Nazis have a great history."
President Biden's exact location at the time was unknown, but he had met with Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy around that time at the White House to discuss the debt limit. The nearby Hay Adams hotel was evacuated at the request of Secret Service.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement Tuesday that President Biden was aware of the incident, and is “relieved that no one was injured last night, and grateful to the agents and the law enforcement officer who responded so quickly."