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Trump rally crowd chants 'lock her up' about Michigan Gov. Whitmer, target of alleged kidnapping plot

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 1 day ago John Fritze, USA TODAY
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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump slammed Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer during a rally in the state Saturday, prompting repeated chants of "lock her up" from the crowd weeks after the FBI foiled a kidnapping plot aimed at the Democratic leader.

"Be careful of her and her attorney general because you know they're like in charge of the ballot stuff," Trump said during a rally in Muskegon, Michigan. "How the hell do I put my political and our country's political life in the hands of a pure partisan like that?"

Trump has frequently attacked Whitmer for her administration's effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 by imposing strict lockdowns of gatherings in the state, which the Republican president believes went too far. But the remarks combined with the "lock her up" chants drew renewed attention from Democrats following the kidnapping plot.

a man wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Muskegon County Airport in Muskegon, Michigan on October 17, 2020. © MANDEL NGAN, AFP via Getty Images President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Muskegon County Airport in Muskegon, Michigan on October 17, 2020.

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More than a dozen members of an anti-government group have been charged in the plot.

"They said she was threatened," Trump said at one point. "And she blamed me."

More: For Joe Biden, two face masks are better than one in the era of COVID-19

More: 'Not going to waste a single minute on tweets': Sasse dismisses Trump attacks

Whitmer responded on Twitter while Trump was still speaking. 

"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," she wrote. "It needs to stop." 

Trump has traveled to Michigan, one of the election's most important battlegrounds, at least four times this year. He narrowly won Michigan in 2016, but current polling in the state shows Democratic nominee Joe Biden leading there. 

The Biden campaign slammed the episode.  

"His conduct reflects his own insecurity and envy of Governor Whitmer’s respected record of leadership in a time of crisis," Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said. "It also serves as a reminder that our nation is at a crossroads."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump rally crowd chants 'lock her up' about Michigan Gov. Whitmer, target of alleged kidnapping plot

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