Whitmer Says Alleged Plot To Kidnap Her Signals ‘Serious Threats’ Heading Into Election

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks before Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) at the Detroit Pistons Practice Facility in Detroit, Michigan on September 22, 2020. (Photo by JEFF K... Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer speaks before Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) at the Detroit Pistons Practice Facility in Detroit, Michigan on September 22, 2020. (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
October 11, 2020 2:58 p.m.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Sunday said that the alleged kidnapping plot against her demonstrates “serious threats” from domestic terrorists as concerns grow over voter intimidation tactics at polling places on Election Day.

During an interview on CBS on Sunday, which came three days after 13 men were charged in connection with a plot to storm the state capital building in Lansing and kidnap the Michigan governor, Whitmer was asked whether she knows if this security threat is over and if she feels safe.

After saying that she has “always felt safe” under the protection of Michigan State Police, Whitmer said she’s concerned about “serious threats” in the weeks leading up to the November election.

“I do believe that there are still serious threats that groups like this group, these domestic terrorists, are finding comfort and support in the rhetoric coming out of Republican leadership from the White House to our state House,” Whitmer said. “And so I remain concerned about safety and integrity going up to this election.”

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Later in the interview, Whitmer was asked about how she can work with Republicans on deep divisions in her state, given how the Michigan Supreme Court recently tried to limit her powers as governor on issues such as mask mandates.

Whitmer responded that it’s important in this election to “find common common ground” and that “there are decent human beings on both sides of the aisle, but we need a leader who can bring them together,” before adding that’s why she is “excited” about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

When asked about a CBS poll finding that half of President Trump’s voters in Michigan think the President should encourage his supporters to go stand near polling places as watchers — which comes on the heels of Trump encouraging his supporters to go to the polls and “watch very carefully” — Whitmer said that the state is “prepared to make sure that this election goes smoothly.”

“We’re going to keep people safe as they go to the polls. And we will not tolerate anyone who’s trying to interfere with someone’s ability to safely vote,” Whitmer said. “We are still in the middle of a global pandemic, which is why we’re really encouraging people to avail themselves of the ability to vote absentee and drop off their ballots or to pop into a clerk’s office.”

Whitmer added that she’s “not worried” about violence on Election Day, despite the kidnapping plot against her this week.

Whitmer’s latest remarks come days after Trump tweeted that the Michigan governor “has done a terrible job” with her emergency restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which allegedly infuriated the 13 charged suspects involved in the plot to kidnap her.

Following the FBI’s announcement on Thursday, Whitmer had slammed Trump over his refusal to denounce right-wing extremist groups, particularly white supremacists, during the first presidential debate less than two weeks ago.

“Hate groups heard the President’s words not as a rebuke but as a rallying cry, as a call to action,” Whitmer said.

Watch Whitmer’s remarks below:

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