Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Says Trump Is Inciting “Domestic Terrorism”

Screenshot "State of the Union"/CNN

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Less than two weeks after the FBI charged six men with plotting to kidnap and potentially assassinate Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a frenzied crowd at a Trump rally chanted “Lock her up!” on Saturday. President Donald Trump responded to his supporters in Muskegon, Michigan, by saying, “Lock ’em all up.” 

In a Sunday appearance on Meet the Press, Whitmer said it was “incredibly disturbing that the president of the United States—10 days after a plot to kidnap, put me on trial, and execute me, 10 days after that was uncovered—the president is at it again, and inspiring, and incentivizing, and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism.”

“It is wrong. It’s got to end,” the governor continued. “It’s dangerous not just for me and my family, but for public servants everywhere.”

Whitmer made a similar call on Twitter on Saturday.

As Mother Jones has reported, the FBI charged six men earlier this month with conspiring to kidnap Whitmer, while the state of Michigan charged seven others with “providing support for terrorist acts.” The men charged had a history of posting far-right memes on social media that glorified violence. 

The plot to kidnap Whitmer was highly specific. As Vox wrote based on an affidavit from an FBI special agent: 

Over the summer, the men trained in tactics and weaponry at the home of one of the militia group’s members. They discussed storming the Michigan Capitol but soon concluded that Whitmer would be more vulnerable at either her vacation home or the governor’s official summer residence. “It’s a perfect fuckin’ setup. Out of everywhere that she resides, this is the only one that’s probably actually feasible,” one plotter said in a recorded conversation.

Several of the men attempted to buy explosives that they planned to use to distract the police during the kidnapping, according to the affidavit. The person they tried to purchase them from turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.

On Sunday, Lara Trump defended her father-in-law on CNN. “He wasn’t doing anything, I don’t think, to provoke people to threaten this woman at all,” she said. “He was having fun at a Trump rally.”

Whitmer, though, has paid the price for this “fun,” as a favorite target of the president’s for months. With just two weeks before Election Day, President Trump consistently trails former Vice President Joe Biden in the crucial swing state. 

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate