After Donald Trump attacked Gretchen Whitmer at a rally in Michigan on Saturday, urging chants “Lock her up!”, An aide told the governor: “Every time the president does this at a rally, violent rhetoric he is getting worse on social media. It has to stop. It just has to. “
Lara Trump, a campaign successor for her father-in-law, replied that the president was just “satisfied”.
During his rally in Muskegon, Trump repeatedly targeted Whitmer, criticized state rules for stopping the spread of the coronavirus, called him “dishonest”; and turned on a rightwing plot to kidnap him – and possibly kill to him – missed by the FBI.
Thirteen men are being charged in connection with the plot, which includes plans to seize the state capital and conduct a type of trial. On stage, Trump took credit for the role of federal law enforcement in breaking the plot.
“They said he was in danger,” he said. “And he blamed me. You hope you can send him his packing right away.”
The dirt of most “Lock her up!” is a reprise of Trump supporter chants aimed at Hillary Clinton throughout the 2016 presidential campaign.
Whitmer digital director Tori Saylor responded on Twitter. So is the governor.
“This is exactly the rhetoric that put me, my family, and other government officials at risk as we try to save the lives of our fellow Americans,” Whitmer wrote.
At CNN State of the Union on Sunday, Lara Trump, Eric Trump’s wife and a campaign successor for her father-in-law, said the president “is not doing anything I do not think will provoke people this woman threatens everyone
“He had fun at a Trump rally and honestly, there are more issues than today with everyday Americans … he doesn’t encourage people to threaten this woman, that’s funny.”
Lara Trump also said: “Well gosh I want to show people my social media and the threats against me, the threats against my children.”
Lee Chatfield, the Republican spokesman for the Michigan House, wrote: “Trump did not shout ‘shut him up’ about our governor. But others did and it was wrong. He was literally targeted. Let’s debate differences. Let’s win the election. But that’s not it. “
While Trump was campaigning 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 later campaigned, reported 3,861 new cases on Friday, a record as well.
In Muskegon, Trump criticized the state’s anti-coronavirus measures.
“You need to open your governor to open your state and open your schools,” he said. “Schools should be open, right?”
More than 8 million people have been infected with coronavirus in the US and nearly 220,000 have died. Biden continues to beat Trump for his response.
“Everything President Trump offers the people of Michigan is more of a lie and a distraction,” Biden said. “There is no plan to control the virus, there is no strategy for pulling our economy out of this recession, there is no vision for national integration.”
Trump told fellow rallies that Biden “would close the country, delay the vaccination and prolong the pandemic”. The president stressed that the country has reversed the disease.
Michigan and Wisconsin are major battlefield states that can contribute to electoral college success. Trump won both four years ago when he took office despite losing the national popular vote to Clinton by nearly 3m ballots. But he is behind the same state this year.