Trump campaign senior adviser Lara Trump defended her father-in-law on Sunday when grilled on the President’s latest attack against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) during a rally the night before, which involved joining in on chants of “lock her up” just days after the FBI foiled an alleged right-wing conspiracy to kidnap and possibly kill her.
During his Michigan rally on Saturday night, Trump repeated his previous gripe that Whitmer should be more appreciative of the FBI for thwarting the alleged right-wing kidnapping plot. The President also continued railing against Whitmer for implementing COVID-19 restrictions that allegedly infuriated the 14 charged suspects in the state and federal case.
When supporters chanted “lock her up,” Trump joined in on the incendiary chant that is reminiscent of his presidential run against Hillary Clinton in 2016 by snarking: “Lock her up? Lock them all up!”
Pressed on the President’s amplification of his supporters’ “lock her up” chants the morning after, Lara Trump piggybacked off of her father-in-law’s talking point that his Department of Justice “actually thwarted this attack against” the Michigan governor.
After saying that the alleged plot against Whitmer is “awful” and that “no one should ever have this thing happen to them,” Trump echoed the President by arguing that “people are frustrated around America” and in Michigan, particularly, when it comes to COVID-19 restrictions.
Asked again about the threats Whitmer has received, Trump hit back that she has gotten threats as well and that “this is not just on one side.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper acknowledged that threats against her or her family are “detestable” before asking Trump whether the President himself should “tone it down.”
Trump denied that the President was doing anything to “provoke” people to threaten Whitmer and quipped that “he was having fun at a Trump rally.”
“And quite frankly, there are bigger issues than this right now for everyday Americans. People want to get the country reopened. They want to get back to work,” Trump said. “Not only are we trying to make it through a pandemic, but think about all of the cancers that have gone unaddressed, think about the kids that aren’t in school who use school to get their one meal a day.”
Trump continued deflecting as she reiterated that the President just wanted to have fun at his rally.
“There are issues at hand here that are bigger than just keeping everybody locked down,” Trump said. “So I think people are frustrated and look — the President was at a rally. It’s a fun, light atmosphere. Of course he wasn’t encouraging people to threaten this woman.”
Watch Trump’s remarks below:
When asked if the President should tone down his rhetoric against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Trump campaign senior adviser Lara Trump says, "He wasn't doing anything, I don't think, to provoke people to threaten this woman at all. He was having fun at a Trump rally" #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/Hm9GIWeH5d
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) October 18, 2020