Rocker and gun rights champion Ted Nugent said he will meet with the Secret Service today to explain his raucous remarks about what he called President Obama’s “evil, America-hating administration” — comments some critics interpreted as a threat against the president.

“The conclusion will be obvious that I threatened no one,” Nugent told radio interviewer Glenn Beck on Wednesday. Nugent said he’d been contacted by the agency and would cooperate fully even though he found the complaints “silly.”

The controversy erupted after the self-styled “Motor City Madman” made an impassioned plea for support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the National Rifle Association meeting in St. Louis last weekend. “We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November,” Nugent said of the Obama administration.

He also included a cryptic pronouncement: “If Barack Obama becomes the next president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”

Outraged Democrats circulated the remarks and suggested they were threatening. Secret Service spokesman George Ogilvie confirmed that the agency was looking into the matter but declined to give details. “We are aware of the incident and we are taking appropriate follow-up,” Ogilvie said.

Nugent said he was simply trying to galvanize voters. The hard rocker, best known for ’70s hits like “Cat Scratch Fever,” is a conservative activist and has a history of heated and sometimes vulgar criticism of Obama. Nugent endorsed Romney after speaking to him last month.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz called on Romney to “condemn Nugent’s violent and hateful rhetoric.”

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul addressed the issue with a brief statement: “Divisive language is offensive no matter what side of the political aisle it comes from. Mitt Romney believes everyone needs to be civil.”

De Niro talkin’ to Bates grads next month

Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro is among three high-profile speakers scheduled to address graduates and receive honorary degrees at the Bates College commencement.

PBS “Newshour” senior correspondent Gwen Ifill and Princeton University molecular biologist Bonnie Bassler are also expected to address nearly 500 graduates of the Lewiston college on May 27.

Bates interim President Nancy Cable said she is “delighted to have these three leaders from a range of fields coming to Bates.”

De Niro won a best actor Academy Award for “Raging Bull” and best supporting actor Oscar for “The Godfather, Part II.” He earned four more Oscar nominations.

Ifill has covered six U.S. presidential campaigns, and moderated vice presidential debates in 2004 and 2008.

Bassler pioneered “quorum sensing” research: how bacteria communicate.

Author seeks dismissal of suit claiming fraud

The attorney for Greg Mortenson’s publisher said the “Three Cups of Tea” author can exaggerate or even lie in a memoir, and it’s still constitutionally protected free speech.

Penguin Group (USA) attorney Jonathan Herman and attorneys for Mortenson, co-author David Oliver Relin and the Central Asia Institute asked a federal judge in Montana Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit by four people who bought Mortenson’s books.

The lawsuit claims Mortenson and the others committed fraud by lying about how he came to build schools in Central Asia so they could sell more books.

The attorneys say there was no fraud involved because there was no injury to the plaintiffs.

U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon did not make an immediate ruling.

– From news serviuce reports