John Schneider should have been celebrating his successful run on The Masked Singer, but instead the actor is reportedly under investigation after threatening the president of the United States.
Schneider, 63, was unmasked as Donut on the Wednesday, December 20, season 10 finale of The Masked Singer, finishing in second place behind Cow (Ne-Yo). Hours later, he claimed that President Joe Biden and his son Hunter should be “publicly hung” in a since-deleted message shared via X (formerly Twitter).
The actor’s statement was a response to a tweet from Biden, 81, who wrote that former President Donald Trump “poses many threats to our country.” Schneider replied, “Mr. President, I believe you are guilty of treason and should be publicly hung. Your son, too. Your response is..? Sincerely, John Schneider.”
Schneider is now reportedly being investigated by the Secret Service because of the potentially threatening message.
The Dukes of Hazzard alum clarified the intent behind his response to Biden in a statement to Deadline, saying, “I neither said nor implied any such thing. Despite headlines claiming otherwise, in my post, I absolutely did not call for an act of violence or threaten a U.S. president as many other celebrities have done in the past. I suggest you reread my actual post and pay attention to the words before believing this nonsense.”
He continued: “It’s my position, which I am entitled to have, that some of our nation’s leaders in Washington have lost their way, and corruption runs rampant, both on our nation’s borders and abroad. Transparency and accountability must happen in order for our constitutional republic to survive. There is no threat implied or otherwise in that statement.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Secret Service told Us Weekly in a statement that the agency is “aware of the comments” made by Schneider, adding, “As a matter of practice, we do not comment on matters involving protective intelligence. We can say, however, that the Secret Service investigates all threats related to our protectees.”
Prior to his controversial social media commentary, Schneider got emotional about finishing The Masked Singer as the runner-up. He said his late wife, Alicia Allain, inspired his decision to join the competition series.
“I know that my bride would be delighted. [She] would have been back there having a great time,” he said on Wednesday’s finale while discussing Allain’s death following a battle with breast cancer. “My wife passed in February, this year. That’s why it’s still so fresh, and I think it’s always going to be fresh.”
Schneider teared up while discussing how he has coped with the loss, adding, “Make sure that if you love somebody desperately — make sure before you go to sleep tonight that they know it.”
Us Weekly has reached out to Schneider for comment.