Gretchen Whitmer Rejects Donald Trump’s Gaslighting After FBI Busts Kidnapping Plot
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) tore into President Donald Trump on Friday after Trump blamed the governor for being the target of a kidnapping and assassination conspiracy that the FBI busted on Thursday.
Trump wrote on Twitter that Whitmer “has done a terrible job,” that she should be singing his praises, and that anti-fascist ideologies are the real problem.
“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. My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement announced today that they foiled a dangerous plot against the Governor of Michigan,” the president chirped. “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.”
Trump was not personally involved in the FBI’s investigation or its eventual bust of the militia group behind the planned attack.
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. My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement announced…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2020
Trump demanded that Whitmer forego COVID-19 restrictions, which was exactly what movitated the would-be assassins.
“I do not tolerate ANY extreme violence,” the president continued. “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!”
…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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2020
Whitmer, who was informed about the plot weeks ago, was having none of the president’s gaslighting.
“There is ongoing rhetoric. Even the president last night in his tweet storm won’t stop attacking me, and 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 told George Stephanopoulos on Friday’s edition of ABC’s Good Morning America. “Bigotry and prejudice and violence is not acceptable.”
Whitmer said that Trump’s rhetoric stoked the white nationalist violent threats by “sick and depraved men” that she regularly has to face.
“Since he first called me ‘that woman from Michigan,’ we saw an increase in hateful language,” Whitmer charged, adding that the Trump administration has been “complicit” in and provided “safe harbor” for the rise of right-wing terrorism.
“Each time he has tweeted about me, each time that he has said ‘liberate Michigan’ and said I should negotiate with the very people who are arrested because they’re ‘good people,’ that incites more domestic terror,” the governor said. “And I am not the only governor going through this. Certainly it’s been worse for me than most, but it is not unique to me, it is not even unique to Democrats. This White House has a duty to call it out and they won’t do it; in fact, they encourage it.”
Regarding Trump’s tweets, Whitmer said that the president is simply not paying attention.
“He clearly didn’t pay attention to what I said yesterday. I started with acknowledging the incredible work of the FBI and our state police,” Whitmer said on GMA. “This was an unprecedented operation and they worked and put themselves on the line to keep me and my family safe, and we are incredibly grateful.”
Whitmer noted the differences in behavior between Trump and Joe Biden, the Democrat hoping to unseat him.
“A decent human being would pick up the phone and say, ‘Are you ok? How’s your family doing?'” she continued. “That’s what Joe Biden did. And I think it tells you everything you need to know about he character of the two people that are vying to lead our country for the next four years.”
She also praised law enforcement.
“This was a very serious thought-out plot to kill police officers, to bomb our capitol, killing Democrats and Republicans alike, and to kidnap and ultimately put me on trial and kill me as well,” the governor said. “These are the types of things you hear from groups like ISIS. This is not a militia; it is a domestic terror organization. We need to call it out and people of goodwill on both sides of the aisle need to stand up and do the right thing here, because this should not stand in the United States of America in 2020.”
On Friday afternoon, Whitmer penned a brief editorial in The Washington Post in which she said she was done dealing with Trump.
“I’m not going to waste my time arguing with the president. But I will always hold him accountable. Because when our leaders speak, their words carry weight,” the governor wrote. “When our leaders encourage domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions. When they stoke and contribute to hate speech, they are complicit. And when a sitting president stands on a national stage refusing to condemn white supremacists and hate groups, as President Trump did when he told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” during the first presidential debate, he is complicit. Hate groups heard the president’s words not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry. As a call to action.”
Whitmer also blasted Trump over his lethal negligence and mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is worsening across the United States.
“Instead of uniting the country, our president has spent the past seven months denying science, ignoring his own health experts, stoking distrust, and fomenting anger and giving comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division. He has proved time and again that he is more focused on his chances in the upcoming election and picking fights with me and Democrats across the country than he is on protecting our families, front-line workers and small businesses from COVID-19,” she said. “As a result, at least 212,000 Americans are dead. More than 60 million have filed for unemployment. And still, the president has not developed a national strategy on testing, protective medical equipment or masks.”
Whitmer concluded the op-ed with a final dig at Trump and his unparalleled failures as commander and chief.
“I think about the 212,000 Americans who have died as a result of this virus. Deaths that could have been avoided, had the president treated covid-19 like the crisis he has known it to be from the beginning,” she said. “The disruption this virus has caused to our daily lives is immeasurable.But our hard work and sacrifices have saved thousands of lives. Michigan has one of the strongest economic recoveries in the nation. There will be more hard days ahead. But we must all show a little kindness and a lot more empathy. Give one another some grace. And let’s take care of each other. Wear your mask. Stay six feet apart. Wash your hands frequently. And look out for your neighbors. We will get through this together.”
We must continue forward.
Twenty-five days until the election.