Trump says Whitmer didn't say 'thank you' after thwarted kidnapped plot. She did thank law enforcement
WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump on Thursday evening convicted Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer for failing to thank after the federal government accused six people of conspiring to kidnap them in an alleged domestic terrorist attack.
Seven other people are also charged under Michigan's anti-terror law in connection with the alleged conspiracy.
Officials said arrested men had ties to a far-right militia group, some of whom were unhappy with Whitmer's COVID-19 restrictions, and called her a "bully".
More: Militia group plans to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, authorities say
Whitmer "did a terrible job. She closed her state to everyone except her husband's boating activities. The federal government has done tremendous help to the Great People of Michigan," Trump tweeted.
He continued, "My Department of Justice and the federal law enforcement agency announced that they have foiled a dangerous plot against Whitmer." Instead of thanking me, she calls me a white supremacist.
In a remark on Thursday during a press conference, Whitmer thanked law enforcement and prosecutors for foiling the conspiracy and bringing criminal charges "to bring these sick and depraved men to justice".
She criticized the president by saying he had not done enough to condemn hate groups "like these two Michigan militia groups" in the country and accused him of "instigating suspicion," "inciting anger," and encouraging groups to who "spread fear, hatred and division". "
More: Men charged with conspiracy to kidnap Governor Whitmer
Officials say the 13 men arrested as part of the kidnapping this week are all members or acquaintances of the Wolverine Watchmen militia group. In addition, according to investigators, everyone was tied to a larger program that was trying to start a civil war.
Members of the group had discussed storming the Capitol to kidnap Whitmer and other potential hostages. They considered shooting Whitmer's house and, according to officials, detonating a bomb to distract police from the kidnapping explosive and begun training to achieve those goals.
During the press conference, Whitmer, who often clashes with Trump, resurfaced the president's comments during the first presidential debate when Trump told the Proud Boys group to "stand by and stand by".
"Hate groups heard the president's words not as a reprimand, but as a rally, a call to action," said Whitmer.
Whitmer continued, "When our leader speaks, their words matter. They carry weight. When our leaders meet, encourage, or fraternize with local terrorists, they legitimize their actions and they are complicit. When they incite and encourage Contribute hate speech, they are complicit. "
More: Donald Trump steps out of the way to condemn white supremacists - and the Proud Boys were "extremely excited" about it
Trump said on Twitter Thursday that he "will NOT tolerate extreme violence. Defending ALL Americans, including those who oppose and attack me, is what I will always do as your President! Governor Whitmer - open your state." , open your schools, and open your churches! "
Whitmer appeared on CNN Thursday before the president's tweets and said she had asked Republicans in her state and the White House to tone down the incendiary rhetoric she believed helped spark the alleged conspiracy against her
"We know every time this White House identifies me or shoots me, we see an increase in rhetoric on the internet, violent rhetoric, and so there is always a connection and surely it's something we've been watching. But that has it cost to a whole new level, "said the governor.
Trump returned on the subject during an interview with Fox News after tweeting on Thursday night saying, "It was my Justice Department that arrested the men." But instead she goes and does her little political act. "
Wolverine Watchmen Members Plan to Kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer: Here's what we know
Democratic candidate Joe Biden said in a statement Thursday that there is a "passageway" from Trump's "tolerance of hatred, vengeance and lawlessness" to the conspiracy against Whitmer.
In early April, just a few weeks after the nationwide restrictions to ward off the coronavirus, Trump tweeted "LIBERATE MICHIGAN" along with other states that were obviously against the governor's "stay-at-home" orders.
The former vice president said, "That call was heard," and the alleged kidnapping plan is "the kind of twisted conspiracy we expect from ISIS, but now it's home."
Coronavirus Updates: Wisconsin, Dakotas Check For Hospital Beds; Florida gun background checks torrent; 212,000 U.S. deaths
Contributors: Paul Egan, Tresa Baldas, Dacie Moran Detroit Free Press
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Trump slams Gretchen Whitmer for not saying "thank you". She did.
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