Gretchen Whitmer Blames Trump’s Rhetoric for the Plot To Kidnap Her, but There’s No Evidence It Played a Role
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer criticized President Donald Trump during a press conference on Thursday, linking the president’s rhetoric to a recently foiled plot by Michigan militiamen to kidnap the governor.
The FBI has arrested six men in connection with the conspiracy. All of them had been extensively monitored since they first reportedly expressed interest in taking violent action against Whitmer early this year. An affidavit describing details of their plans was released to the public on Thursday.
“Our head of state has spent the past seven months stoking distrust, fomenting anger, and giving comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division,” said the Democratic governor. “Just last week, the president of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn hate groups like these two Michigan militia groups. Stand back and stand by, he told them.”
Trump’s comment was directed specifically at the Proud Boys, since that was the extremist group that debate moderator Chris Wallace had named. Those involved in the Whitmer conspiracy belong to a very different organization: the Wolverine Watchmen, a more traditional militia group that uses the language of freedom vs. tyranny, preserving the Constitution, etc. (The Proud Boys, by contrast, define themselves as “western chauvinists.”)
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