Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Blasts Trump Calling Him ‘Complicit’ In Foiled Kidnapping Plot
“Just last week, the president of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacists and hate groups like these two Michigan militia groups,” she said, referring to Trump telling the Proud Boys group to “stand back and stand by” in the first presidential debate. “Hate groups heard the president’s words not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry. As a call to action. When our leaders speak, their words matter. They carry weight. When our leaders meet with, encourage, or fraternize with domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions and they are complicit.”
More than a dozen men were charged with federal and state crimes in connection to the kidnapping plot.
According to the federal criminal complaint, the men planned to take her hostage before Election Day, surveilled her vacation home and planned to purchase explosives this week.
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Trump took credit for foiling the plot and attacked Whitmer on Twitter Thursday night, writing that she “has done a terrible job” and “locked down” her state over COVID-19.
Governor Whitmer of Michigan has done a terrible job. She locked down her state for everyone, except her husband’s boating activities. The Federal Government provided tremendous help to the Great People of Michigan. My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement announced…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2020
“My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement” announced the foiling of a dangerous plot, he tweeted. “Rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist,” Trump wrote.
He added in another tweet: “I do not tolerate ANY extreme violence. Defending ALL Americans, even those who oppose and attack me, is what I will always do as your President!”
Trump and Whitmer have been at odds in recent months due to her handling of the coronavirus. The president has previously tweeted to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” and called her the “lock-up queen” after the kidnapping plot was revealed.
Republicans in the state quickly denounced the plot.
“A threat against our Governor is a threat against us all,” state Sen. Majority Leader Mike Shirkey tweeted. “We condemn those who plotted against her and our government. They are not patriots. There is no honor in their actions. They are criminals and traitors, and they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
A threat against our Governor is a threat against us all. We condemn those who plotted against her and our government. They are not patriots. There is no honor in their actions. They are criminals and traitors, and they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
— Sen. Mike Shirkey (@SenMikeShirkey) October 8, 2020
State House Speaker Lee Chatfield echoed Shirkey, noting that “violence has no place in politics. Ever.”
“It’s never a solution to disagreements,” he tweeted. “The people who targeted [Whitmer] and police officers are un-American. Justice should be swift and severe. It’s time to send a message that violence will not be tolerated.”
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