The Slatest

Michigan Gov. Whitmer: Trump Continues to Incite “Domestic Terrorism”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer introduces Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at Beech Woods Recreation Center on October 16, 2020 in Southfield, Michigan.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer introduces Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at Beech Woods Recreation Center on October 16, 2020 in Southfield, Michigan. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer slammed President Donald Trump on Sunday, accusing him of inciting “domestic terrorism.” Whitmer spoke on NBC’s Meet the Press a day after Trump laughed as supporters started chanting “lock her up” when he criticized the Michigan governor for restrictions that were put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. “Lock them all up,” Trump answered back as supporters cheered only days after law enforcement officials foiled a plot to kidnap, and perhaps even kill, Whitmer.

“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—10 days after that was uncovered, the president is at it again and inspiring and incentivizing and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism,” Whitmer said. “It’s wrong. It’s got to end. It’s 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.”

Lara Trump, a senior campaign adviser for the president, defended Trump’s comments at the rally, dismissing them by saying that it was all in good fun. “Well, look, he wasn’t doing anything, I don’t think, to provoke people to threaten this woman at all. He was having fun at a Trump rally,” Lara Trump said on CNN’s State of the Union. “And quite frankly, there are bigger issues than this right now for everyday Americans.” She went on to say that “people want to get the country reopened, they want to get back to work.” Whitmer noted on NBC that there hasn’t been a stay-at-home order in Michigan since the late spring but Trump “never lets the facts get in the way of comments that he’s making.”

CNN host Jake Tapper noted that Whitmer’s deputy digital director, Tori Saylor, said Saturday night that every time Trump attacks the governor at a rally “the violent rhetoric towards her immediately escalates on social media.” But Lara Trump dismissed that by saying she also gets death threats. “Well, gosh, I would like to show people my social media and the threats against me, the threats against my children, when you have members of the Democrat Party coming out and telling people, get in their face, go harass them,” she said.