Gretchen Whitmer has criticized Michigan’s MAGA fans and President Trump for a chorus of ‘lock her up’ chants, saying that rhetoric has endangered her family.
The Michigan governor unleashed her critcisms on Saturday evening, while Trump spoke before a large crowd at a campaign rally in Muskegon. It came just one week after the FBI intervened in a nefarious kidnapping plot.
At the rally, Trump hammered Whitmer for keeping the state locked down amid the coronavirus pandemic.
‘You got to get your governor to open up your state, okay?’ he told the crowd of mainly maskless supporters. ‘And get your schools open.’
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (left) criticized President Trump (right) and his supporters after they chanted ‘lock her up’ during a campaign rally
The crowd cheered in response and only got louder when Trump said: ‘Hopefully you’ll be sending her packing pretty soon.’
The event erupted into repeated ‘lock her up’ chants, which Trump merely brushed off and added, ‘lock them all up!’
Whitmer directly responded to the chants on Twitter by chastising the crowd.
‘This is exactly the rhetoric that has put me, my family, and other government officials’ lives in danger while we try to save the lives of our fellow Americans,’ she wrote. ‘It needs to stop’
Just last week, the FBI foiled a kidnapping plot orchestrated by a group of militiamen. The men charged are right-wing extremists who plotted to kidnap Whitmer at her vacation home in Michigan.
They wanted to put her on trial for ‘treason’ in a safe house in Wisconsin. They also discussed ‘grabbing her’ and called her a ‘b***h’ in recorded conversations that an informant supplied to the feds.
Whitmer: ‘This is exactly the rhetoric that has put me, my family, and other government officials’ lives in danger while we try to save the lives of our fellow Americans’
Most recently, authorities arrested Brian Higgins, 51, from Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, and charged him with material support of an act of terrorism.
That charge carries a 20-year prison sentence.
He is among 14 men who have been charged in two separate indictments – one by the FBI and one by Michigan’s Attorney General – over their plot to kidnap Whitmer and generally overthrow governments.
The men are being described by prosecutors as part of the ‘boogaloo’ movement – an organization of agitators who are predominantly right-wing.
Brian Higgins, 51, from Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, was charged with material support of an act of terrorism
Six men have been charged with conspiracy to kidnap Whitmer. They are Ty Garbin, Adam Fox, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta and Barry Croft.
Higgins was charged by the Michigan AG’s office along with Paul Bellar, 21, Shawn Fix, 38, Eric Molitor, 36, Michael Null, 38, William Null, 38, Pete Musico, 42, and Joseph Morrison, 42.
All fourteen men are now in custody awaiting court appearances. They have not yet entered pleas.
The alleged plot began with a meeting where the men discussed forming their own ‘self-sufficient’ society in early June.
‘At one point, several members talked about state governments they believed were violating the US Constitution, including the government of Michigan and Governor Gretchen Whitmer,’ the FBI affidavit claimed.
The men then tried to recruit members of the Michigan militia group to help, the affidavit claims.
Trump has been a large proponent of the anti-lockdown movement that sparked this year as states implemented stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines.
He’s been critical of Whitmer, a Democrat whose coronavirus restrictions started in March and continued into autumn.
‘The Governor of Michigan should give a little and put out the fire,’ Trump tweeted in May. ‘These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.’
Just one day before, anti-lockdown protesters arrived to the Michigan State Capitol building with firearms and donned militia gear.
Two of men at the protest, William and Michael Null, were among the militiamen arrested on the botched kidnapping plot.
On October 8, Trump shared another series of disparaging tweets towards Whitmer regarding her lockdown policies.
Donald Trump on Thursday night attacked Gretchen Whitmer, in response to her blaming him for stoking extremism
The president felt that she should have said thank you to him for the work his agencies did to thwart the plot
Trump urged Whitmer to roll back her pandemic precautions and reopen Michigan fully
‘Governor Whitmer of Michigan has done a terrible job. She locked down her state for everyone, except her husband’s boating activities. The Federal Government provided tremendous help to the Great People of Michigan,’ he wrote.
‘My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement announced today that they foiled a dangerous plot against the Governor of Michigan. Rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist—while Biden and Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, Anarchists, Looters and Mobs that burn down Democrat run cities.
‘I do not tolerate ANY extreme violence. Defending ALL Americans, even those who oppose and attack me, is what I will always do as your President! Governor Whitmer—open up your state, open up your schools, and open up your churches!
The next day, Whitmer told Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos that the language used by Trump and his supporters was ‘dangerous.’
‘Even the president last night in his tweet storm won’t stop attacking me,’ she said.
‘I think that it’s creating a very dangerous situation – not just for me but for people in leadership roles who are trying to save lives all across this country.’
Whitmer (pictured): ‘I think that it’s creating a very dangerous situation – not just for me but for people in leadership roles who are trying to save lives all across this country’