Six men have been arrested and are facing federal charges for plotting the abduction, authorities announced Thursday. The alleged scheme involved months of planning, training with firearms and even surveillance of Whitmer’s vacation home, where they planned to snatch her and hold a “treason trial,” according to an FBI affidavit.
Whitmer, who has faced repeated attacks from President Donald Trump and his supporters for her COVID-19 mitigation measures, linked the kidnapping plot to the president’s hateful rhetoric and failure to speak out against white supremacists and hate groups.
In an appearance on Fox News, Miller continued the Whitmer-bashing, telling anchor Bill Hemmer that while there is “no place” in American society for such a kidnapping plot, “Governor Whitmer is a complete phony and it is just disgusting that she would take a moment of unity to attack the president.”
“If we want to talk about hatred, then Governor Whitmer, go look in the mirror. I mean, the fact that she wakes up every day with such hatred in her heart towards President Trump,” Miller said.
“President Trump is the one out there condemning these radical groups, whether they be on the right or be on the left,” he added. Miller then touted the president’s “platinum plan” to win over Black Americans by labeling the Ku Klux Klan and anti-fascist groups as terrorist organizations.
Trump campaign official Jason Miller is on Fox News attacking Gretchen Whitmer, the victim of a kidnapping plot: "If we want to talk about hatred, then Gov. Whitmer, go look in the mirror — the fact that she wakes up everyday with such hatred in her heart for President Trump." pic.twitter.com/sMXv7mgBfa
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 8, 2020
Trump has, in fact, avoided criticizing hate groups that support him ever since he announced his candidacy. Last week, he refused to condemn white supremacists during the first presidential debate and told the far-right hate group Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by,” a message the group celebrated as a call to violence.
Following bipartisan backlash to those remarks, Trump eventually called in to Fox News’ “Hannity” two days later to say “I condemn all white supremacists.”
“Hate groups heard the president’s words not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry — as a call to action,” Whitmer said in her Thursday press conference.
“When our leaders speak, their words matter. They carry weight. When our leaders meet with, encourage or fraternize with domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions, and they are complicit. When they stoke and contribute to hate speech, they are complicit.”
Asked about Miller’s remarks, Whitmer said on CNN later on Thursday that “it tells you everything you need to know about the White House.”
“After a plot to kidnap and to kill me, this is what they come out with. They start attacking me,” she said. “As opposed to what good, decent people would do, which is to check in and say, ‘Are you OK?’ — which is what Joe Biden did. And I think that tells you everything that’s at stake in this election.”
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