The horrendous plan to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is President Trump’s fault, the Democratic governor alleged in her first press conference since the news of the attempt broke.
Whitmer, who is vehemently anti-Trump, directly quoted Trump’s comments at the first presidential debate and claimed these hate groups are following the president’s instructions to “stand back and stand by.”
“This should be a moment for national unity, where we all pull together as Americans to meet this challenge head-on,” she said via BizPac Review. “Instead, 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 also accused Trump of “giving comfort” to extremist groups.
“Hate groups heard the President’s words not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry. As a call to action,” she said.
“When our leaders speak, their words matter. They carry weight. When our leaders meet with, encourage, or fraternize with domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions, and they are complicit. When they stoke and contribute to hate speech, they are complicit,” Whitmer added.
FULL INTERVIEW: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who was a target of anti-government views over coronavirus restrictions, speaks exclusively with @GStephanopoulos about the foiled plot to kidnap her. https://t.co/N9PXtc2N93
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 9, 2020
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden echoed Whitmer’s comments in a tweet condemning Trump.
“He’s giving oxygen to the bigotry and hate we see on the march in our country — and we have to stop it,” Biden said.
When Governor Whitmer worked to protect her state from a deadly pandemic, President Trump issued a call to "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!"
That call was heard.
He's giving oxygen to the bigotry and hate we see on the march in our country — and we have to stop it.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 9, 2020
Initial reports identifying the individuals who organized the kidnapping attempt and other actions to seize control of the Michigan government show they were not Trump supporters.
Film director and conservative commentator Robby Starbuck shared a pair of videos on Twitter showing two of the men charged in the plot to kidnap expressing they are anti-Trump and anti-police.
The guy literally did videos in front of an anarchist flag talking about how much he hated police. He sounds more like Antifa than a Republican. https://t.co/4qyJktROpJ
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) October 9, 2020
As BizPac Review reports, the Trump campaign pushed back on Whitmer’s comments.
During an interview on Fox News’ Bill Hemmer Reports, Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller said Whitmer was a “complete phony” driven by “hatred in her heart towards President Trump.”
“These are some pretty shameful comments from Governor Whitmer,” Miller said. “How you can go from a moment of unity to attacking President Trump, I thought was just completely ridiculous. If we want to talk about hatred, and then Governor Whitmer, go look in the mirror.”
“We are all united standing against anyone who would conspire to cause such hatred and violence,” he continued. “There is no place for that in American society in any way, shape, or form, but why Governor Whitmer would go and start attacking President Trump, this is just — people can see right through it and people can see that Governor Whitmer is a complete phony and it is just disgusting that she would take a moment of unity to attack the president.”