Biden Cites Trump Tweet in Governor Kidnapping Plot
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrat Joe Biden says President Donald Trump's tweet earlier this year to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” may have encouraged a now-foiled kidnapping plot against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, though the criminal complaint itself doesn't say that.
A federal complaint says Thursday that six men plotted to kidnap the Democratic governor at her vacation home in reaction to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power."
There’s no indication in the complaint that the men were inspired by Trump. Authorities also have not publicly said whether the men were angry about Whitmer’s coronavirus orders.
Biden said ahead of an Arizona campaign swing that Trump “has to realize that the words he utters matter.” He was asked specifically whether he thought the Trump tweet directed at Whitmer’s COVID-19 restrictions might have encouraged her would-be kidnappers. He said, “Yes, I do.”
Biden says he and his running mate, Kamala Harris, have both spoken with Whitmer on Thursday. Whitmer was among the finalists that Biden considered for the vice presidential slot.
Whitmer herself publicly pinned some blame on Trump earlier Thursday, noting that he did not condemn white supremacists in last week’s debate with Biden and instead told a far-right group to “stand back and stand by.”