Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called out President Trump Sunday for riling up extremists and “inciting...domestic terrorism" just days after a plot to kidnap her was foiled.
Trump, who has been a vocal critic of the governor, lashed out at Whitmer during a rally in Michigan Saturday, accusing her of unnecessarily locking down the state as she tried to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
His supporters began chanting “lock her up,” to which Trump responded, “lock them all up.”
“You know, 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,” Whitmer said Sunday on “Meet the Press.”
“It is wrong. It’s got to end. It is dangerous, not just for me and my family, but for public servants everywhere who are doing their jobs and trying to protect their fellow Americans. People of goodwill on both sides of the aisle need to step up and call this out and bring the heat down."
Fourteen members of the Wolverine Watchmen paramilitary militia group have been arrested, six with federal crimes, for a plot to kidnap Whitmer and overthrow the state government.
Evidence released Friday by the Western District of Michigan US Attorney’s Office showed a group of people, dressed in military gear, firing assault rifles into the air and using a Taser in what appear to be training videos.
In one video, suspect Brandon Caserta says he wants to take action against “government thugs that rob people every day.”
“If this whole things starts to happen, I’m telling you what dude, I’m taking out as many of those motherf--kers as I can," he said. “Every single one. Every single one.”
Caserta, Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Barry Croft have all been indicted on federal charges, while Paul Bellar, Shawn Fix, Eric Molitor, Michael Null, William Null, Pete Musico, Joseph Morrison and Brian Higgins faced state charges.
Despite the severity of the plot, Lara Trump said her father-in-law was just “having fun" when he called for Whitmer’s imprisonment during his Saturday rally.
“There are issues at hand here that are bigger than just keeping everybody locked down," she said on “State of the Union. “So, I think people are frustrated, and, look, the president was at a rally. It’s a fun, light atmosphere. Of course he wasn’t encouraging people to threaten this woman. That’s ridiculous.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on the other hand, called Trump’s rhetoric “irresponsible.”
“The president has to realize that words of the president of the United States weigh a ton. And in our political dialogue, to inject fear tactics into it — especially a woman governor and her family — is so irresponsible,” she said on “This Week” Sunday morning.
“And in all fairness to people who listen to him, people think the president is important and what he says should be adhered to. And so we have this horrible situation. But the people have awakened to him. 26 million people already voting. The biggest antidote to his poison is the vote.”
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