Michelle Obama at a campaign event on July 10, 2012, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
A Washington, D.C., police officer has been removed from his unit and placed on administrative duty over remarks he allegedly made about first lady Michelle Obama—but the Secret Service is downplaying the controversy, msnbc.com reports.
The officer, who worked as a motorcycle escort for White House officials, "allegedly said he would shoot the first lady and then used his phone to retrieve a picture of the firearm he said he would use," according to the Washington Post.
The officer reportedly made the comments Wednesday morning as several officers from the Special Operations Division discussed threats against the Obamas.
Officials familiar with the situation say that it was a bad joke made by someone who should have known better, according to msnbc.com.
"Pump the brakes on this one," a Secret Service official told NBC, saying the agency is not concerned that the remark made by the officer constitutes any kind of actual threat.
"We're aware of it and taking the appropriate steps," an official for the Secret Service told msnbc.com.