DETROIT (AP) – The Michigan government, Gretchen Whitmer, said Sunday that President Donald Trump is encouraging “domestic terrorism” after “unlocking her” chants at his demonstration in the state the night before.
Whitmer told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the rhetoric is “incredibly disturbing” just over a week after authorities announced they had opposed an alleged plan to kidnap the Democratic governor.
“The president is at it again, inspiring and encouraging and encouraging this kind of domestic terrorism,”
At a rally in Muskegon on Saturday tonight, Trump urged supporters to push Whitmer to reopen the state after COVID-19 restrictions. When the crowd that starts singing “unlocks her”, Trump added, “Lock them all up.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who spoke on ABC’s “This Week,” said Trump’s statements were “irresponsible” and accused him of injecting fear tactics.
Several Republican and Trump campaigners showed up on Sunday news show to defend the president.
“He did nothing, I do not think, to provoke people to threaten this woman at all. He had fun at a Trump meeting, and honestly, there are bigger problems than this right now for everyday Americans, “said Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law and a senior campaign adviser on CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’
Democrats have applied to tie Trump to the alleged plot against Whitmer and point to the president’s tweet earlier this year for “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” after Whitmer restricted personal movement and finances in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Michigan – particularly the Detroit area – was hit hard early in the pandemic. Many of the borders have since been lifted.
Authorities claim members of two anti-government paramilitary groups participated in the planning of Whitmer’s kidnapping, although some were charged under federal law and others under state law. Six men, led by Adam Fox of the Michigan III%, are charged in federal court with conspiracy to kidnap her. Eight others, believed to be members or employees of a group called the Wolverine Watchmen, are being prosecuted in the state court for charges, including material support for terrorist acts.
Some of the Wolverine Watchmen are accused of planning other violent crimes, such as storming the Michigan Capitol building and attacking police.