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Whitmer: Trump inciting 'domestic terrorism'

The Hill logo The Hill 10/18/2020 Zack Budryk
Gretchen Whitmer in a blue shirt: Whitmer: Trump inciting 'domestic terrorism' © Getty Images Whitmer: Trump inciting 'domestic terrorism'

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Sunday accused President Trump of inciting "domestic terrorism" in the wake of an alleged plot to abduct her.

"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 ... is at it again ... inciting this kind of domestic terrorism," Whitmer said on NBC's "Meet the Press," the day after the president held a rally during which participants chanted "Lock her up" when he mentioned her.

"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 good will on both sides of the aisle need to step up and call this out and bring the heat down," she added. "This is the United States of America. We do not tolerate actions like he is giving comfort to. And that's why we all have to be in this together."

Whitmer also pointed out that Michigan has not been under a stay-at-home order in months, and accused the president of fomenting violence as a distraction from the federal handling of the coronavirus.

"The Trump virus response is the worst in the globe. I mean, in the world, it's the worst. Eight million people have been, have contracted COVID-19, 220,000 dead. We've got people in food pantry lines who never would have imagined that they'd be there. And no light on the horizon because our numbers keep going up," she said.

Whitmer went on to argue the state of public health would not improve without a change in leadership.

"[I]f you're tired of lockdowns or you're tired of wearing masks or you wish you were in church this morning or watching college football or your kids were in-person instruction, it is time for a change in this country, and that's why we've got to elect Joe Biden," she said.

Fourteen people have been charged in the alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) has said two of the suspects were co-founders of the Michigan militia group Wolverine Watchmen.

The president has repeatedly attacked Whitmer before and after the plot was reported.

At a Michigan rally on Saturday, Trump told supporters to "be careful of [Whitmer] and her attorney general."

Attendees chanted "Lock her up" when Trump mentioned the governor and coronavirus restrictions in the state.

--Updated at 11:46 a.m.

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