After the FBI arrested six alleged co-conspirators and seven others on Wednesday night and were charged on Thursday for conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Democratic presidential nominee and former vice governor Joe Biden blamed President Trump, asking why can’t he just say “stop” to these militia groups.
Biden, speaking to reporters in Arizona alongside running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), said Trump’s rhetoric was to blame:
“There is no place for hate in America. And both of us have been talking about this for some time, about how white supremacists and these militias area a genuine threat. I want to compliment the FBI and the police agencies for what they did, and how they stepped up. But look – the words of a president matter. Whether they can — you’ve heard me say this before. They can cause a nation to have the market rise or fall, go to war or bring peace, but they can also breathe oxygen into those who are filled with hate and danger, and I just think It’s got to stop. The president has to realize the words he utters matter.”
Biden later referenced the Charlottesville ‘very fine people’ hoax, the false claim that Trump praised neo-Nazis in Charlottesville in 2017 (he had, in fact, said they should be “condemned totally”).
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Meanwhile, liberal Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also linked the alleged kidnapping plot to President Trump’s rhetoric.
WBBM NewsRadio says:
“We can have honest policy debates. We can disagree on a range of issues,” Lightfoot said. “But Donald Trump has emboldened and empowered an element in our country that we know exists.”
“Sometimes we don’t want to talk about it. But it’s absolutely there. And there’s a lot of racist, misogynist, xenophobic, violent people that are out there who threaten me my family and other elected officials because the president gives them license.”
Governor Whitmer herself, blamed the president. She slammed Trump for the extremist group’s plan to allegedly assassinate her and five others – in an attempt to start a “civil war.”
Six men were charged in federal court with conspiring to kidnap the governor before the Nov. 3 elections in reaction to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power,” according to a federal complaint. Separately, seven others linked to a paramilitary group called the Wolverine Watchmen were charged in state court for allegedly seeking to storm the Michigan Capitol and seek a “civil war.”