Speed Reads

on the campaign trail

Trump seemingly downplays Gretchen Whitmer kidnapping plot during Michigan rally

President Trump went after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) multiple times during a rally in Lansing on Tuesday, and the crowd responded by chanting, "Lock her up!"

Earlier this month, the FBI and Michigan law enforcement announced they had foiled a plot by several men to kidnap Whitmer, with the extremists allegedly wanting to try her for "treason." Trump told the crowd in Lansing that he doesn't think Whitmer "likes me too much," adding, "I'm the one, it was our people that helped her out with her problem."

He went on to suggest that the kidnapping plot wasn't that big of a deal: "I mean, we'll have to see if it's a problem. Right? People are entitled to say maybe it was a problem, maybe it wasn't. It was our people — my people — our people that helped her out. And then she blamed me for it. She blamed me and it was our people that helped her. I don't get it. How did you put her there?"

Trump and Whitmer have been highly critical of each other amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the governor wrote in a piece for The Atlantic published on Tuesday that "every time the president ramps up this violent rhetoric, every time he fires up Twitter to launch another broadside against me, my family and I see a surge of vicious attacks sent our way. This is no coincidence, and the president knows it. He is sowing division and putting leaders, especially women leaders, at risk. And all because he thinks it will help his re-election."