President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package Trump calls Milley a 'f---ing idiot' over Afghanistan withdrawal First rally for far-right French candidate Zemmour prompts protests, violence MORE chastised Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerMichigan prosecutor calls state gun laws 'woefully inadequate' 65M women could lose abortion rights in Supreme Court case Judge orders pro-Trump election lawyers to pay 5,000 in sanctions MORE (D) on Thursday for calling the president “complicit” in the extremism associated with the FBI-thwarted scheme to kidnap her.
The president condemned the Michigan governor for not thanking him after the FBI filed a federal affidavit saying it stopped a militia group from violently kidnapping Whitmer.
“My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement announced today that they foiled a dangerous plot against the Governor of Michigan,” he posted. “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.”
“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!” he added.
He also took shots at her handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying she did a “terrible job” and “locked down her state for everyone.” The governor instituted some of the strictest COVID-19 restrictions in the U.S., which conflicted with Trump’s calls to reopen.
“Governor Whitmer—open up your state, open up your schools, and open up your churches!” he included in his Thursday tweet.
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 8, 2020
...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 8, 2020
Whitmer responded to the FBI’s affidavit by saying that the president’s comments during the first presidential debate when he avoided denouncing white supremacy represented a “rallying cry” to similar groups to the militia planning her kidnapping.
"Just last week, the president of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacist and hate groups like these two Michigan militia groups," Whitmer said during a livestream address.
"Hate groups heard the president's words not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry, as a call to action,” she continued. “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."
During the first presidential debate, when asked to remark on the far-right group Proud Boys, Trump directed them to “stand back and stand by.”
The FBI revealed on Thursday that it stopped members of a militia named the Wolverine Watchman from going through with an alleged plan to kidnap the governor and charged at least six men in connection with the plot.