A Briton who tried to grab a police officer’s gun at a Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas said he wanted to shoot the US candidate, court papers say.
Michael Steven Sandford, 20, did not enter a plea when he appeared before a judge in Nevada and was remanded in custody until a hearing on 5 July.
He is charged with an act of violence in a restricted area.
He had reportedly tried to seize the gun after saying he wanted Mr Trump’s autograph at Saturday’s rally.
He said he had been planning to try to shoot Mr Trump for about a year but had decided to act now because he finally felt confident enough to do so, court papers say.
Mr Sandford is reported to be from Dorking, in Surrey.
He had originally travelled to the US to see a girlfriend, the Evening Standard reports, citing a friend of his mother.
A federal judge found Mr Sandford, who reportedly appeared in court in shackles, to be a danger and risk of non-appearance, and he was ordered detained pending his preliminary hearing.
When asked about the arrest of Michael Sandford, a Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are providing assistance following an arrest of a British national in Las Vegas.”
According to the court papers, Mr Sandford said he had never fired a gun before but went to a range in Las Vegas on 17 June to learn how to shoot.
At Saturday’s rally at the Treasure Island Casino, he allegedly tried to grab the officer’s weapon because it was in an unlocked position and therefore, he said, the easiest way to get a gun to shoot Mr Trump.
Court documents say Mr Sandford acknowledged he knew he would only be able to fire one or two rounds, and expected to be killed during an attempt on Mr Trump’s life.
He told police if he had not tried to kill Mr Trump at this rally he would have tried again at a rally in Phoenix, for which he had already booked tickets, the papers say.
He told investigators he had been in the US for one and a half years and drove to Las Vegas from California specifically to kill Mr Trump, the court papers say.
Court research showed he was unemployed, living out of his car and in the US illegally, the Associated Press news agency reports.
A federal public defender said he had autism and had attempted suicide, the agency adds.