Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden compared the foiled kidnap plot against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to an Islamic State terrorist attack, blaming President Trump for implicitly encouraging it.
“There is a throughline from President Trump’s dog whistles and tolerance of hate, vengeance, and lawlessness to plots such as this one. He is giving oxygen to the bigotry and hate we see on the march in our country,” Biden said Thursday.
The two-term vice president and 36-year Delaware senator referenced Trump’s tweets from the spring, when he urged supporters to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” after Whitmer imposed strict, unpopular lockdown measures at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
“When protesters with swastikas and Confederate flags, nooses, and assault rifles descended on Michigan’s capitol echoing the president’s own refrain to ‘lock her up,’ President Trump called them ‘very good people,'” he said, comparing Trump’s comments to those he made after the 2017 Charlottesville unrest.
A group of men were charged by federal authorities Thursday for their involvement in what the FBI has described as an alleged militia-backed domestic terrorist plot to overthrow Michigan’s government by kidnapping Whitmer.
Biden linked their plan to “the kind of twisted plot we expect from ISIS, but now it’s here at home.”
“We have come to a point where, despite our shock, we are not surprised that such a heinous plot was even conceived — a plot by Americans to blow up a bridge on American soil, threaten the lives of police officers and other law enforcement officials, and kidnap an American leader, take her hostage, and stage a mock trial for treason,” he said.
Whitmer also said Trump was responsible during an earlier press conference, pointing to how Trump had been “stoking distrust” and “fomenting anger” throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.