During her rally in Muskegon, Trump repeatedly targeted Whitmer, criticizing state rules to stop the spread of the coronavirus, calling her “dishonest” and shedding light on a right-wing plot to kidnap her – and maybe to kill her – which was foiled by the FBI.
Thirteen men were charged in connection with the plot, which called for storming the state capital and holding some sort of trial. On stage, Trump praised the role of federal law enforcement in foiling the plot.
“They said she was threatened,” he said. “And she blamed me. I hope you send her to pack her bags soon.
The crowd chanting “Lock her up!” Was a repeat of chants by Trump supporters targeting Hillary Clinton throughout the 2016 presidential campaign.
Whitmer’s digital director Tori Saylor responded on Twitter. The governor too.
“This is exactly the rhetoric that has put my life, my family and other government officials at risk as we try to save the lives of our fellow Americans,” Whitmer wrote.
On CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, Lara Trump, wife of Eric Trump and her stepfather’s campaign substitute, said the president “was not doing anything in my opinion to make people threaten this woman asset.
“He was having fun at a Trump rally and frankly there are bigger issues than this right now for ordinary Americans… he wasn’t encouraging people to threaten this woman, that’s ridiculous.
Lara Trump also said, “Damn I would like to show people my social media and the threats against me, the threats against my kids.”
Lee Chatfield, the Michigan House Republican president, wrote: “Trump didn’t sing ‘lock her up’ about our governor. But others did and it was wrong. She was literally just targeted. Let’s discuss the differences. Let’s win the elections. But not that.
As Trump campaigned in Michigan, the state added 1,791 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, bringing its seven-day total to more than 10,000, a record. Wisconsin, where Trump campaigned later today, reported 3,861 new cases on Friday, also a record.
In Muskegon, Trump criticized the state’s anti-coronavirus measures.
“You have to get your governor to open your state and open your schools,” he said. “Schools must be open, right?”
More than 8 million people have been infected with the coronavirus in the United States and nearly 220,000 have died. Biden continues to hammer Trump for his response.
“All President Trump offers the people of Michigan are more lies and distractions,” Biden said. “No plan to bring the virus under control, no strategy to pull our economy out of this recession, no vision to unite the country.”
Trump told his two rallies that Biden will “shut down the country, delay the vaccine and prolong the pandemic.” The president insisted that the country was turning the corner of the disease.
Michigan and Wisconsin are key states in the battlefield that can contribute to Electoral College victory. Trump won both four years ago when he took the presidency despite losing the national popular vote to Clinton by nearly 3 million votes. But he’s late in both states this year.