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Politics EXCLUSIVE: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is 'hanging in there' as Trump encourages supporters to 'lock her up' after the FBI thwarted a right-wing plot to kidnap and execute her

01:55  21 october  2020
01:55  21 october  2020 Source:   businessinsider.com

Gretchen Whitmer, who was at the center of a failed kidnapping plot, says Trump encourages domestic terrorists by legitimizing their actions

  Gretchen Whitmer, who was at the center of a failed kidnapping plot, says Trump encourages domestic terrorists by legitimizing their actions "When our leaders encourage domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions," Democratic Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer wrote in an op-ed."I'm not going to waste my time arguing with the president. But I will always hold him accountable. Because when our leaders speak, their words carry weight," she said.

Gretchen Whitmer admonished President Trump and his supporters for chanting ' lock her up ' on A group of men plotted to kidnap Whitmer at her vacation home in Michigan last week, but it was Gretchen Whitmer has criticized Michigan 's MAGA fans and President Trump for a chorus of ' lock

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.

a close up of a woman: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer addresses the media about the flooding along the Tittabawassee River, after several dams breached, in downtown Midland Reuters/Rebecca Cook © Reuters/Rebecca Cook Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer addresses the media about the flooding along the Tittabawassee River, after several dams breached, in downtown Midland Reuters/Rebecca Cook
  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told Business Insider she's "hanging in there" after the FBI foiled a right-wing plot to kidnap and assassinate her.
  • "That's my phrase for 2020," she said, adding that she was "appalled" when President Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to "lock her up" just 10 days after the men who plotted against her were arrested.
  • Whitmer sharply rejected the Trump campaign's "ridiculous" claim that she was encouraging "assassination attempts" against the president following a recent television appearance.
  • Whitmer also excoriated the president for stirring up conspiracy theories about the integrity of the election system, and expressed confidence in state and local officials who are working overtime to ensure the safety of the vote.
  • "It's going to take a while to count these ballots because we're going to have historic turnout, which is a great thing for democracy," she said. "And so it may take a few days to get a final vote, but we're going to do it right. And we're going to keep voters informed about every step along the way."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she's "hanging in there" after the FBI foiled a right-wing plot to kidnap her.

Gov. Whitmer says she has 'always felt safe' but doubles down on charges that extremists are 'finding comfort' in Republican rhetoric

  Gov. Whitmer says she has 'always felt safe' but doubles down on charges that extremists are 'finding comfort' in Republican rhetoric Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who was the target of a failed kidnapping plot, said she remains "concerned about safety and integrity going into this election."Whitmer was a target of a failed kidnapping plot by at least six men who had ties to the militant "boogaloo" movement that allegedly urged its members to conduct surveillance on the governor's private home.

The FBI and state police have thwarted a plan by US Attorney Andrew Birge told reporters Thursday that the conspirators used encrypted messaging and code language to avoid detection and twice surveilled Whitmer ’s vacation cottage in northern Michigan after hatching a plan to kidnap her there .

Trump campaign claims Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer is ' encouraging assassination attempts' against the president with discreet '8645' pin in Whitmer appeared on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday and accused Trump of inciting 'domestic terrorism' after his supporters chanted ' lock her

"That's my phrase for 2020," she told Business Insider in an interview Tuesday morning.

Whitmer has been in the national spotlight since 13 men were arrested and charged earlier this month with scheming to kidnap the Democratic governor, put her on trial, and execute her.

Six of the defendants were charged with felonies, and seven were arrested and charged with state crimes. Authorities said the six men who were charged with federal crimes went as far as monitoring Whitmer's vacation home and building bombs.

An FBI affidavit signed by special agent Richard Trask II said that two of the defendants "agreed to unite others in their cause and take violent action against multiple state governments that they believe are violating the U.S. Constitution."

Whitmer blasts Trump's 'appalling' response to her after feds foil kidnapping plot

  Whitmer blasts Trump's 'appalling' response to her after feds foil kidnapping plot On the night the plot was announced, Trump said Whitmer "has done a terrible job" and that she should have said thank you for the federal government having foiled the effort."I was shocked to see that response," Whitmer said.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has become a target of coronavirus lockdown sceptics. media caption"Hate groups heard the president's words as a rallying cry": Mrs Whitmer calls out Trump . The FBI says it has thwarted a plot to abduct and overthrow Michigan 's Democratic

MICHIGAN Gov Gretchen Whitmer accused President Trump of inciting "domestic terrorism" following " lock her up " chants at his rally in the state on Saturday. At the Saturday rally in Muskegon, the president urged his supporters to push Whitmer to open up the state following COVID-19 restrictions.

Trask added: "Several members talked about murdering 'tyrants' or 'taking' a sitting governor."

On Monday, CNN reported on text messages between some of the defendants, one of which said of Whitmer: "Have one person go to her house, knock on the door and when she answers it just cap her."

"It's not easy," Whitmer told Business Insider on Tuesday when asked how she and her family were coping with the arrests. "And it's so serious what was being planned and plotted, and yet, you know, we're trying to stay focused on doing what we each individually need to do to support one another."

Chants to 'lock her up' ring out at Trump's rallies

The controversy surrounding the alleged kidnapping plot against Whitmer became turbocharged over the weekend, when President Donald Trump laughed and encouraged supporters at a Michigan rally to "lock her up."

The chant — an old favorite among the president's supporters and directed at then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016 — came after Trump criticized Whitmer's decision to order a lockdown of her state amid surging coronavirus cases this year.

Michigan Republican linked to organizer of rally where militia allegedly plotted to kidnap Whitmer

  Michigan Republican linked to organizer of rally where militia allegedly plotted to kidnap Whitmer The rally drew numerous extremist groups, including the Proud Boys, the Boogaloo Bois and the alleged coup plotters John James and Gretchen Whitmer Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images

Trump laughs at ' lock her up ' chants about Gretchen Whitmer at Michigan rally, just days after the FBI said it foiled a right - wing militia plot to kidnap her. Whitmer has already criticized the president's response to the kidnapping plot , saying his administration "didn't do anything" when she

Gretchen Whitmer lashed out at Trump for inciting domestic terrorism after he encouraged a rally Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer called out Donald Trump Sunday for inciting and 'It's incredibly disturbing that [ Trump ], 10 days after a plot to kidnap , put me on trial, and execute me

"You've gotta get your governor to open up your state, OK?" Trump said. The crowd cheered and erupted into chants of "lock her up!" The president smirked and responded: "Lock 'em all up."

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Trump holds a Make America Great Again campaign rally in Winston-Salem, NCÂ United States on September 8, 2020 Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images © Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images President Trump holds a Make America Great Again campaign rally in Winston-Salem, NCÂ United States on September 8, 2020 Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Whitmer's deputy digital director, Tori Saylor, assailed the president's actions as dangerous, tweeting: "I see everything that is said about and to her online. Every single time the President does this at a rally, the violent rhetoric towards her immediately escalates on social media. It has to stop. It just has to."

Whitmer also responded, writing on Twitter, "This is exactly the rhetoric that has put me, my family, and other government officials' lives in danger while we try to save the lives of our fellow Americans. It needs to stop."

Asked about her immediate reaction when she saw the president's rally, Whitmer told Business Insider that she was "appalled."

Michigan bans open carry of guns at polling places on Election Day

  Michigan bans open carry of guns at polling places on Election Day Michigan's Secretary of State cited "disruption, fear, or intimidation for voters, election workers, and others present" in the ban issued Friday."The presence of firearms at the polling place, clerk's office(s), or absent voter counting board may cause disruption, fear, or intimidation for voters, election workers, and others present," Benson said in a press release on Friday. Benson, who is considered the state's chief election officer, added that she is working with state and local law enforcement in order to carry out the mandate.

Gretchen Whitmer condemned behavior at President Donald Trump ’s Saturday rally in Michigan , saying chants of “ lock her up ” Trump told supporters that one of the most important issues in his race against Democrat Joe Biden is “the radical left’s plan to erase American history, purge American

" Lock ‘em all up ," Trump said. Whitmer took to Twitter to respond to Trump 's statement. Earlier this month, Trump slammed Whitmer for having done "a terrible job" after she " locked down her state The websites’ administration has the right to delete comments made in languages other than the

"We're 10 days out from an unprecedented announcement of charges of a group of people that was plotting to kidnap and murder me, a sitting US governor," she said. "This was a moment where we really need people of good will on both sides of the aisle to take on domestic terrorism. It's a threat to us all, and to hear the president encourage this kind of rhetoric is stunning and incredibly dangerous."

Whitmer derides the president's allegations against her as 'ridiculous'

Whitmer added that no one from the White House or Trump's campaign team has reached out to her since the rally. By contrast, Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his vice-presidential running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, have both reached out several times, she said.

She added that several Republican gubernatorial colleagues, like Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, also checked in on Whitmer and her family to "share some of their frustrations with the political climate."

"That gives me great hope that there are people of good will on both sides of the aisle who are going to — sure we'll disagree — but we're going to make sure that we never foment that dangerous, hateful rhetoric that's pulling our nation apart," she said.

Trump laughs at 'lock her up' chants about Gretchen Whitmer at Michigan rally, just days after the FBI said it foiled a right-wing militia plot to kidnap her

  Trump laughs at 'lock her up' chants about Gretchen Whitmer at Michigan rally, just days after the FBI said it foiled a right-wing militia plot to kidnap her Whitmer responded on Twitter, saying, "This is exactly the rhetoric that has put me, my family, and other government officials' lives in danger."Trump responded to the chant with "lock 'em all up.

Shortly after Whitmer appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" over the weekend to criticize the president for what she described as inciting violence against her, the Trump campaign retaliated.

Specifically, it accused Whitmer of "encouraging assassination attempts" against the president because of a series of numbers that were displayed behind her when she appeared on the show.

According to the Oxford English dictionary, the term "eighty-six" means to "eject or debar (a person) from premises; to reject or abandon."

"That was ridiculous," Whitmer said when asked about the campaign's accusation. "Eighty-six means reject, and I do reject Donald Trump. I reject Donald Trump's rhetoric, I reject Donald Trump's bungled COVID response, and I reject Donald Trump's decisions to pit Americans against Americans."

The Michigan governor also excoriated the president and his allies for stirring up conspiracy theories and casting doubt on the integrity of the election system. But she expressed confidence in state and local officials who are working overtime to ensure the safety of the vote.

"We take very seriously any efforts to undermine keeping voters safe and ensuring that every vote is counted," Whitmer said, adding that she is working with the Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel on the matter.

'The road to the White House is always going to go through the state of Michigan'

Dana Nessel holding a sign: Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel. Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press/Tribune News Service via Getty Images © Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press/Tribune News Service via Getty Images Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel. Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Trump attacked Nessel on Saturday, telling rallygoers, "Be careful of [Whitmer] and her attorney general. Because, you know, they're like, in charge of the ballot stuff, right ... You got to watch it. Watch those ballots. Watch what's going on ... and law enforcement is watching."

Michigan Gov. Whitmer says Trump is inciting domestic terrorism after 'lock her up' chants at rally

  Michigan Gov. Whitmer says Trump is inciting domestic terrorism after 'lock her up' chants at rally Gretchen Whitmer said that Donald Trump was fueling domestic terrorism a day after his criticisms of her during a rally in the state spurred supporters to chant "lock her up!""The president is at it again, and inspiring and incentivizing and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism. It is wrong. It's got to end," Whitmer said during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press.

Nessel hit back at Trump on Twitter, saying, "In nearly every state of the union, including Michigan, the Secretary of State is 'like in charge of the ballot stuff.' I AM law enforcement. And you can bet our election will be safe and the vote will be protected."

Whitmer also defended Nessel and Benson on Tuesday, saying Trump would have attacked the integrity of the election results in her state "regardless of the facts."

"It's going to take a while to count these ballots because we're going to have historic turnout, which is a great thing for democracy," she said. "And so it may take a few days to get a final vote, but we're going to do it right. And we're going to keep voters informed about every step along the way."

Michigan has emerged as a critical battleground state ahead of the November general election, particularly since Trump picked up the state in 2016 in a stunning upset over Clinton. Trump won the state by fewer than 11,000 votes in the last election, while Whitmer won it by over 400,000 when she ran for governor in 2018.

"I think Michigan has always been a swing state," Whitmer said. "Even in a year like 2018 where we saw a dramatic swing, it was still a 53% vote. So elections in Michigan, even in big years, are always inherently close, and that's why Michiganders are a reflection of the country and I think that's why the road to the White House is always going to go through the state of Michigan."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Gretchen Whitmer accuses Trump of inciting 'domestic terrorism' after his supporters chanted 'lock her up' at his rally following a foiled plot to kidnap her .
"It is wrong," she said. "It's got to end. It is dangerous, not just for me & my family, but for public servants everywhere who are doing their jobs.""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.

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