Gretchen Whitmer Rebukes Trump In Powerful Essay: He's 'Failed Our Country'

Jenna Amatulli
·Reporter, HuffPost
·3 min read

Just weeks after it was revealed that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was the target of a militia group’s kidnapping plot, she’s written a scathing essay against President Donald Trump that implores Americans to vote him out of office.

On Tuesday, The Atlantic published an essay by the Democrat and frequent target of Trump’s ire, in which she slams the president for creating a “divide in our country.” Whitmer cites his refusal to “denounce white supremacists on a national debate stage,” his “cruel, adolescent attacks on women like Senator Kamala Harris and public-health leaders like Anthony Fauci” and his “violent rhetoric” as actions that “put my colleagues and fellow Americans in danger.”

“Every time he fires up Twitter to launch another broadside against me, my family and I see a surge of vicious attacks sent our way. This is no coincidence, and the president knows it. He is sowing division and putting leaders, especially women leaders, at risk. And all because he thinks it will help his reelection,” writes Whitmer.

She opens the essay — which is headlined “The Plot To Kidnap Me” — by directly addressing the far-right threat against her, and how Trump had stoked it:

Earlier this month, I learned that a multistate terrorist group was planning to kidnap and possibly kill me. Law enforcement announced charges against 14 people as part of the plot. As jarring as that was, just over a week later, President Donald Trump traveled to Michigan, and when a crowd chanted “Lock her up” after he mentioned me, he said, “Lock them all up.”

The FBI learned through social media earlier this year that far-right group Wolverine Watchman was “discussing the violent overthrow of certain government and law-enforcement components” and had Whitmer as its target, after Trump repeatedly assailed her for her statewide restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to referring to her as that “woman in Michigan” and claiming she “doesn’t have a clue,” Trump tweeted “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” in April.

“We cannot count on President Trump to rebuild America. We cannot expect him to unite us against violence and hate. Fueling the deep divisions within our country is a tactic he has been using for years, often with the help of social-media platforms like Facebook, which domestic terrorists used to organize the plot against me,” writes Whitmer, before adding that the last four years “have been the worst version of America.”

She concludes by saying simply, “This president has failed our country, and it is on all of us to come together to turn things around. We deserve better.”

While Whitmer did not endorse Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in her essay, she stressed the importance of voting on social media earlier this week and has canvassed and hosted events on Biden’s behalf in Michigan.

Just days after the FBI announced the arrest of the alleged would-be kidnappers, Trump egged on supporters chanting “lock her up!” about Whitmer. She expressed her deep concern about the president’s ongoing inflammatory rhetoric to NBC’s Meet the Press.

“It’s incredibly disturbing that the president of the United States, 10 days after a plot to kidnap, put me on trial and execute me — 10 days after that was uncovered — the president is at it again and inspiring and incentivizing and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism,” she said.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.