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Man who drove stolen car to White House 'claimed to have asteroid that communicates with Donald Trump'

A man who drove to a security checkpoint near the White House in a stolen car and told agents there was a bomb in the vehicle later told authorities the object was an asteroid and that he communicates telepathically with Donald Trump.

According to a court document, 29-year-old Sean Patrick Keoughan of Roanoke, Virginia, approached the checkpoint at 10pm on Saturday and said he had a meeting with the president.

Officers found no record for a meeting and Keoughan left. He approached again at 11pm and made the statement about the bomb. He also said "this is a test", according to the document.

Keoughan was arrested and has been charged with threatening and conveying false information concerning the use of an explosive. The charge is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors said in a statement that at a Monday court hearing, Keoughan was ordered held in jail until another hearing on Thursday. A mental health screening was also ordered.

Asked by Secret Service agents whether there was a bomb in the car, Keoughan said "that he had a very large, heavy bag in the trunk of his car with an asteroid in it", according to the court document.

He also told Secret Service agents that the president had given him the car he was driving as well as the bag with the asteroid and told him to say there was a bomb in the trunk, the court document says.

The document also says Keoughan said Mr Trump speaks to him telepathically.

He also told agents he had received psychiatric care in the past and used "every drug". He called himself a "peaceful hippie" who does not own weapons or have access to them, the court document said.

Police in Roanoke said in a statement that the vehicle was a rental car and was stolen on Friday. Officers said three people using the vehicle had got out at an overlook in Roanoke and left the car, a Chevrolet Impala, unlocked and running when it was taken.

Military officials said on Monday that Keoughan served in the US Navy for six years, leaving in 2014 as an aviation electronics technician. Ensign Marc Rockwellpate, a spokesman for the US Navy Office of Information, said he could not release details of Keoughan's discharge because it is private information.

Keoughan was not the only man arrested on Saturday at the White House. The same day, 58-year-old William Bryant Rawlinson of Silver Spring, Maryland, was arrested on a charge of unlawful entry after jumping a metal barrier just outside a White House fence.

The president was in Florida this weekend and not at the White House at the time of either incident.

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