Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) claimed Thursday that President Donald Trump is “complicit” in stoking extremists like the ones who had planned an alleged plot to kidnap her and overthrow the state’s government.
Whitmer’s remarks came in a livestreamed address in which she noted President Trump’s remarks on white supremacy during the first presidential debate. When asked to denounce the group Proud Boys, President Trump said, “Stand back and stand by.” Whitmer believes that was a “rallying cry” for those who allegedly sought to abduct her.
“Just last week, the president of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacist and hate groups like these two Michigan militia groups,” Whitmer said. “Hate groups heard the president’s words not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry, as a call to action.
“When our leaders speak, their words matter,” Whitmer continued. “They carry weight. When our leaders meet with, encourage, or fraternize with domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions and they are complicit.”
#BREAKING: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer slams Trump in response to kidnapping plot: "'Stand back and stand by.' Hate groups heard the President's words not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry. As a call to action." pic.twitter.com/c0U5HdAh1T
— The Hill (@thehill) October 8, 2020
Whitmer took jabs at Trump repeatedly, claiming that he is “stoking distrust” and “fomenting anger.”
“Our head of state has spent the past seven months denying science, ignoring his own health experts, stoking distrust, fomenting anger, and giving comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division,” Whitmer stated.
While it is reported that twelve individuals have been charged in regards to the alleged kidnap plot, the United States attorneys in Michigan announced charges against Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, and Brandon Caserta.
“When I put my hand on the Bible and took the oath of office 22 months ago, I knew this job would be hard. But I’ll be honest, I never could’ve imagined anything like this,” Whitmer said.