Trump Wonders If Alleged Whitmer Kidnapping Plot Was Really A Problem After All

LANSING, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 27: U.S. President Donald Trump addresses thousands of supporters during a campaign rally at Capital Region International Airport October 27, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan. With one week until... LANSING, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 27: U.S. President Donald Trump addresses thousands of supporters during a campaign rally at Capital Region International Airport October 27, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan. With one week until Election Day, Trump is campaigning in Michigan, a state he won in 2016 by less than 11,000 votes, the narrowest margin of victory in the state's presidential election history. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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October 27, 2020 5:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday questioned the government’s case against a group of men accused of plotting to kidnap the governor of Michigan, saying at a rally that it might not have been a “problem” in the first place.

It was just the latest in a string of Trump attacks against Gretchen Whitmer, the Democratic governor of a crucial swing state. 

“Hey, I’m the one — It was our people that helped her out with her problem,” Trump told a rally in Lansing, referring to the alleged kidnapping plot in which six men have been charged federally and eight more face state terrorism charges. 

“And we’ll have to see if it’s a problem, right? People are entitled to say, ‘Maybe it was a problem, maybe it wasn’t,’” the President added. “It was our people, my people, our people, that helped her out. And then she blamed me for it.”

Defense attorneys for some of the accused men say their clients never intended to actually abduct the governor, though undercover FBI sources and texts, pictures and video shared by prosecutors have shown the group taking steps including allegedly surveilling the governor’s home. 

Trump has for months antagonized Whitmer over public health restrictions she’s used to slow the spread of COVID-19 in her state. Whitmer on Tuesday wrote, “Every time the President ramps up this violent rhetoric, every time he fires up Twitter to launch another broadside against me, my family and I see a surge of vicious attacks sent our way.” 

The President has also argued that “my” Justice Department saved the governor from harm, lashing out after she said that hate groups heard Trump’s rhetoric as a “rallying cry.” 

Last week, Trump cheered on a “lock her up” chant during a rally of his in Michigan, responding to the crowd: “Lock them all up!”

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