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Friday, October 23, 2020

Michigan Gov. Blames Kidnapping Plot On White House’s ‘Comfort And Support’ For Domestic Terrorists

Topline

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Sunday accused the White House of emboldening domestic terrorist groups like the one accused of plotting to violently kidnap and try her for treason last week.

Key Facts

Whitmer, during a Sunday morning appearance on CBS’ Face The Nation, accused Republican leadership of offering “comfort and support” to domestic terrorists. 

“I do believe there are still serious threats that groups like this group are finding comfort and support in the rhetoric coming out of the Republican leadership in the White House to our state house,” said the Democratic governor. 

Whitmer was the target of an alleged months-long plot involving 13 men—seven of whom were members of local Michigan militia group Wolverine Watchmen—planning to capture the governor at her vacation home. 

The FBI announced Thursday that it had infiltrated and foiled the plot, which went as far as surveilling Whitmer’s home on two separate occasions, inspecting the underside of a bridge in a plan to slow police response and practicing the detonation of a bomb against human silhouette targets. 

Key Background 

The Trump administration faced steep criticism after the first presidential debate against Democratic nominee Joe Biden during which the president initially failed to clearly condemn white supremacists, instead giving what was interpreted by extremist groups as a garbled endorsement to the right-wing Proud Boys. Despite reports from the heads of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security that white supremacists and domestic terrorists are among the greatest threats to U.S. national security, the president has continued to turn blame to the left, taking aim at mayors, governors and Antifa.

Chief Critic

Responding to previous accusations from Whitmer that the Trump administration’s rhetoric played a part in the kidnapping plot, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany slammed Whitmer for “sowing division” through “outlandish allegations.” 

Crucial Quote 

“President Trump has continuously condemned white supremacists and all forms of hate,” said McEnany.

Further Reading 

“Trump Won’t Recognize Threat Of White Supremacists—But His Administration Is Increasingly Concerned” (Forbes) 

“Michigan Sheriff: Militia Suspects May Have Merely Been Attempting To ‘Arrest’ Whitmer” (Forbes) 

“6 Men Charged In Months-Long Violent Plot To Kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer” (Forbes)

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