Gretchen Whitmer, who was at the center of a failed kidnapping plot, says Trump encourages domestic terrorists by legitimizing their actions

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announces the state's first two cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at the Michigan State Police headquarters in Windsor Township, Michigan.
Last week, prosecutors accused men who conspired to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The men involved have had ties to anti-government, extremist movements in the past.
Whitmer said Thursday that she had raised security concerns with the Trump administration, but they "did nothing about it".
In a comment published Friday in the Washington Post, Whitmer criticized Trump's leadership, warning: "When our leaders encourage local terrorists, they are legitimizing their actions."
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In a comment published Friday in the Washington Post, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer criticized the Trump administration for responding to conspirators accused of plotting to kidnap Whitmer.
"I will not waste my time arguing with the president. But I will always hold him accountable. Because when our leaders speak, their words carry weight," she said.
This week, prosecutors accused men who conspired to kidnap Whitmer. The men, who have historically had ties to anti-government, extremist movements, monitored Whitmer's vacation home and, according to authorities, planned to detonate a bomb as a diversion.
Whitmer said at a press conference after the threat that Trump was "complicit" in extremist violence in the US. An adviser on President Donald Trump's re-election campaign, attacking Whitmer in response, said, "If we want to talk about hate, then, Governor Whitmer, look in the mirror - the fact that she wakes up every day with such hatred for her heart President Trump. "
Whitmer replied, "They attack me, contrary to what good, decent people would do if they checked in and said, 'Are you okay?' - what Joe Biden did. "
In the statement, Whitmer duplicated her statements, saying, "When our leaders encourage domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions. If they incite and contribute to hate speech, they are complicit."
Many of them armed protesters have asked the Democratic governor to implement a strict nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Trump publicly accepted the groups and called them "very good people". He also posted a series of tweets to "free" several US states in "Lockdown". These tweets "were taken as a signal that he approved of the armed uprising" by far-right social media users.
"When a sitting president stands on a national stage and refuses to condemn white supremacists and hate groups, as President Trump did when he told the Proud Boys to step back and stand by during the first presidential debate," added Whitmer. "Hate groups did not hear the president's words as a reprimand, but as a rally. As a call to action."
After the President's statements in the first presidential debate, members of the far-right Proud Boys welcomed his statements and even used them as a recruiting tool.
The White House did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment on Whitmer's comment.
Continue reading:
Suspects charged with cracking down on Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer have long been linked to self-appointed militias. Here's what you need to know about these extremist groups:
The Proud Boys are using Trump's "stand-by" note as a recruiting tool and renaming it to include what they see as his call to action
Trump urges the Proud Boys to "stand by" after being asked to condemn white supremacists in the presidential debate
The Proud Boys are using Trump's "stand-by" note as a recruiting tool and renaming it to include what they see as his call to action
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