The Trump campaign accused Michigan's governor of having 'hatred in her heart' just hours after the FBI said it foiled an extremist plot to kidnap her
- Jason Miller, a senior advisor for the Trump campaign, on Thursday attacked Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer just hours after the FBI said it had stopped armed right-wing extremists who were plotting to kidnap her.
- Miller went after Whitmer for suggesting President Donald Trump was "complicit" in extremist violence because of his hateful rhetoric and refusal to condemn white-supremacist groups.
- "If we want to talk about hatred, then Gov. Whitmer, go look in the mirror — the fact that she wakes up every day with such hatred in her heart for President Trump," Miller said in a Fox News appearance.
- Earlier in the day, federal prosecutors charged six men with plotting to kidnap Whitmer and overthrow Michigan's government.
Jason Miller, a senior advisor for President Donald Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, accused Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of having "hatred in her heart" the same day the FBI said it foiled a right-wing extremist plot to kidnap her.
The Michigan governor was critical of the president during a Thursday news conference in which she addressed the plot. Miller attacked Whitmer during a Fox News appearance soon afterward.
"These are some pretty shameful comments here from Gov. Whitmer because how you can go from a moment of unity to attacking President Trump, I thought was just completely ridiculous," Miller said.
He added: "If we want to talk about hatred, then Gov. Whitmer, go look in the mirror — the fact that she wakes up every day with such hatred in her heart for President Trump."
—Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 8, 2020
During her press conference, Whitmer said Trump was "complicit" in extremist violence in the US.
The Michigan Democrat said Trump has been "fomenting anger and giving comfort to those who spread fear, hatred, and division."
"When our leaders meet with, encourage, or fraternize with domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions and they were complicit," Whitmer added. "When they contribute to hate speech, they're complicit."
Whitmer cited the fact that Trump declined an opportunity to explicitly condemn white-supremacist groups during the first presidential debate last week. He instead opted to publicly boost the far-right extremist group known as the Proud Boys.
—NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 8, 2020
The president has a long record of being endorsed by white-supremacist groups and other far-right extremists, and they've often looked to him as a source of encouragement. Trump in some instances has condemned white-supremacist groups, but typically after significant pressure from the public and lawmakers in Washington, DC.
After Trump told the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by," South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate, urged Trump to "correct" his remarks.
In late April, armed protesters descended upon Michigan's capital to demonstrate opposition to Whitmer's extension of the state's stay-at-home order. Earlier in the month, Trump had tweeted: "LIBERATE MICHIGAN." Trump called the armed demonstrators "very good people."
"These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal," Trump said in a May 1 tweet.
Federal prosecutors have charged six men with plotting to kidnap Whitmer and overthrow Michigan's government.
The men were identified in court documents as Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, and Brandon Caserta.
The FBI said the men contacted members of an armed right-wing militia in Michigan to orchestrate the plot.
"In early 2020, the FBI became aware through social media that a group of individuals were discussing the violent overthrow of certain government and law-enforcement components," Richard Trask, an FBI agent, wrote in an affidavit.
"Several members talked about murdering 'tyrants' or 'taking' a sitting governor," Trask added. "The group decided they needed to increase their numbers and encouraged each other to talk to their neighbors and spread their message."
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