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Gretchen Whitmer accuses Trump of inciting ‘domestic terrorism’


  • During a Sunday appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer accused President Donald Trump of “inciting… domestic terrorism” after he laughed when his supporters began a “lock her up” chant at a Saturday rally.
  • The chant came about one week after the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced it had foiled a months-long plot of a milia group to kidnap Whitmer.
  • “Ten 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.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, on Sunday criticized President Trump for his actions at a Saturday rally in the state and said he was “inciting… domestic terrorism.” 

“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,” Whitmer told NBC News’ Chuck Todd on Sunday during an appearance on “Meet the Press.” “Ten days after that was uncovered, the president is at it again and inspiring and incentivizing and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism.”

“It is wrong,” she added. “It’s got to end. It is dangerous, not just for me & my family, but for public servants everywhere who are doing their jobs and trying to protect their fellow Americans.”

At a rally in Michigan for his reelection on Saturday, supporters of the president chanted “lock her up,” the chant popularized by the president and his supporters in 2016 against then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, after Trump said Whitmer had “done a terrible job” and criticized her actions to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

In response to his supporters, Trump laughed and responded with “lock ’em all up.” The moment came just about one week after the FBI announced it had foiled a plot hatched by a group of men who allegedly planned to kidnap Whitmer. More than a dozen men — part of a militia group known as the Wolverine Watchmen — have since been charged in relation to the monthslong plot.

Whitmer, who also during her Sunday appearance addressed the COVID-19 spike in her state, called on Americans to call out the president’s behaviour and to “bring the heat down.” 

“This is the United States of America,” she said.  “We do not tolerate actions like he is giving comfort to and that’s why we all have to be in this together.” 

In an interview on ABC “This Week” also on Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, showed support for Whitmer, criticizing the president’s actions and rhetoric.

“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.

Two top campaign staffers for President Trump defended his encouragement of “lock her up” chants, as Business Insider’s John Dorman reported

Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law and senior campaign advisor, argued on Sunday that the “lock her up” chants were not meant to cause any harm to the Democratic governor, but that he was “having fun.”

“He wasn’t doing anything, I don’t think, to provoke people to threaten this woman at all,” she said during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” 

“He was having fun at a Trump rally. And quite frankly, there are bigger issues than this right now for everyday Americans. People want to get the country reopened … So I think people are frustrated. Look, the president was at a rally. It’s a fun, light atmosphere. Of course, he wasn’t encouraging people to threaten this woman.”

Jason Miller, a senior advisor on the Trump campaign, made an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” where he stated that the president had no regrets about his rhetoric against Whitmer.

“I think the fact of the matter is many residents of Michigan are pretty frustrated with the governor,” Miller said, adding that “they want to see the state open back up.”

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