Trump incites domestic terrorism

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is on stage at an event where General Motors announced that GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant will build the Cruise Origin autonomous shuttle on January 27, 2020 in Hamtramck, Michigan.

Bill Pugliano | Getty Images

Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer said on Sunday that President Donald Trump was fueling domestic terrorism a day after his criticism of his Covid-19 mitigation efforts at a rally in the state prompted his supporters to chant “lock her up!”

“The President is starting over, and inspiring, encouraging and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism. It is wrong. It has to stop,” Whitmer said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press”.

At his campaign rally in Muskegon, Michigan on Saturday, Trump criticized what he called the “draconian, unscientific Whitmer lockdown.”

“You have to ask your governor to open your state and open your schools. Schools must be open, right?” Trump said.

Schools across the state have already been cleared to open, although many are facing new outbreaks of the coronavirus.

Her comments came less than two weeks after 13 people were charged with a conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer and “try” her for treason. A 14th person has since been charged. Whitmer had previously suggested that Trump, who had criticized his lockdown measures as being too harsh, was “complicit” in the plot because of his rhetoric.

Whitmer said it was troubling to her that the President resumed his attacks “10 days after a plot to kidnap, put me on trial and execute me” was discovered.

“It’s dangerous, not only for me and my family, but for public servants around the world who are doing their jobs and trying to protect their fellow Americans,” Whitmer said. “Goodwill people on both sides of the aisle have to step in and call it and turn the heat down.”

Ken Farnaso, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, said in response to Whitmer’s comments that “the plot against the governor was reprehensible and it’s great that the Justice Department has apprehended those responsible and is forcing them to hand over charges. accounts”.

“It’s also true that the people of Michigan want their economy to be reopened so they can return to work like other parts of the country,” Farnaso said.

Whitmer’s deputy digital director Tori Saylor said in a Twitter post on Saturday that the president’s comments had led to an increase in vitriol directed against the governor online.

“Anytime the president does this at a rally, the violent rhetoric against him immediately escalates on social media,” Saylor wrote.

Republicans and Democrats criticized the chants of confinement directed at Whitmer, which became popular during Trump’s campaign in 2016 when they were directed against his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Michigan Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield wrote in a Twitter post that he was “proud to speak up for the president tonight! I’m delighted to vote for him again. And no, Trump does. didn’t chant “lock she’s talking about our governor. “

“But others did and it was wrong,” he added. “She was literally just targeted. Let’s discuss the differences. Let’s win the election. But not this.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Called Trump’s rhetoric “irresponsible” in an ABC interview Sunday on “This Week.”

“The president must realize that the words of the President of the United States weigh a ton,” she said.

Trump’s rally in Michigan is part of a Trump effort to build support in the Midwest, which was crucial for his 2016 victory over Clinton.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, leads Trump in the state by about seven percentage points on average in state polls.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

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