Topline

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer accused President Trump of once again putting her family in danger after supporters loudly chanted “lock her up” at a Saturday Trump rally in western Michigan, days after the FBI announced it had thwarted a violent kidnapping plot against her.

Key Facts

“It is incredibly disturbing that the president of the United States, 10 days after a plot to kidnap me, put me on trial and execute me … is at it again, inspiring and incentivizing and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism,” Whitmer said on NBC’s “Meet The Press” Sunday morning. 

President Trump did not dissuade multiple chants to “lock her up” from fans at the Saturday rally that followed his criticism of Whitmer’s reopening strategy. 

“You’ve got to get your governor to open up your state,” said Trump, responding to the chants by saying: “Lock ‘em all up.”  

As Whitmer slammed this as “dangerous” to “public servants everywhere,” allies of the president defended Trump from the criticism. 

“He was having fun at a Trump rally,” Lara Trump, President Trump’s daughter-in-law, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State Of The Union.” 

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel batted off questions about the president’s actions by crediting Trump with foiling the kidnapping plot. 

Crucial Quote 

“First of all the president and his FBI foiled this plot,” said McDaniel, who called Whitmer “inappropriate to try and lay blame at the president.” 

Crucial Quote

“Every single time the president does this at a rally, the violent rhetoric towards her immediately escalates on social media,” said Tori Saylor, a digital director for Whitmer. “It has to stop. It just has to.”

Key Background

Thirteen men—including seven who are part of a local militia group, were charged in connection to a months-long plot to kidnap  Whitmer and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) that went as far as surveilling her vacation home and practicing the detention of a bomb against human silhouette targets. After the FBI announced its successful thwarting of the effort, Whitmer pinned blame to the president, saying his administration offers “comfort and support” for domestic terrorists. 

Further Reading 

“Michigan Gov. Blames Kidnapping Plot On White House’s ‘Comfort And Support’ For Domestic Terrorists” (Forbes) 

“Michigan Sheriff: Militia Suspects May Have Merely Been Attempting To ‘Arrest’ Whitmer” (Forbes) 

“6 Men Charged In Months-Long Violent Plot To Kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer” (Forbes)

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