Thursday, October 8, 2020

Arizona, California, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming

What did Donald Trump do today?

He complained he wasn't getting credit for the arrest of terrorists he encouraged.

Thirteen people were arrested today on various state and federal charges for a plot to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Those arrested were members of a domestic terrorist organization known as Wolverine Watchmen. They had planned for several months to either kill Whitmer, or kidnap her and bring her to a secret location for a "trial." They believed she was a "tyrant" and had committed "treason."

Among other preparations, the group surveilled Whitmer's vacation home, planned to blow up a bridge to slow police response to their kidnapping attempt, and worked out detailed plans to combat first responders. They also planned an attack on the state capitol in an attempt to foment a "civil war."

A key element of the plan was to have the kidnapping happen before the November election, in order to disrupt it.

Trump has specifically targeted Whitmer, a Democrat, over her attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19. When people armed with assault rifles paraded in front of the state capitol, many of them carrying pro-Trump signs, he tweeted "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!" At a press conference today, Whitmer cited Trump's support of violent fringe groups and his personal nod-and-wink approach to threats against his opponents as part of the problem.

Trump's reaction was to complain that she hadn't personally thanked him—and then launched right back into the same attacks that made Whitmer a target of the extreme right fringe in the first place. 

Governor Whitmer of Michigan has done a terrible job. She locked down her state for everyone, except her husband’s boating activities. The Federal Government provided tremendous help to the Great People of Michigan. My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement that they foiled a dangerous plot against the Governor of Michigan. Rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist—while Biden and Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, Anarchists, Looters and Mobs that burn down Democrat run cities......I do not tolerate ANY extreme violence. Defending ALL Americans, even those who oppose and attack me, is what I will always do as your President! Governor Whitmer—open up your state, open up your schools, and open up your churches!

In reality, Whitmer did thank law enforcement officials. Trump himself, who has actively downplayed the threat from domestic terrorist organizations that tend to support him politically, was not involved in any part of the law enforcement response. In fact, Trump specifically attacked the FBI directly in an interview this morning.

Whitmer didn't accuse Trump of white supremacy, but she did say his words gave them encouragement—and white supremacists agree with her

Why is this a problem?

  • It's wrong to demand credit for things you had nothing to do with.
  • If you're encouraging violence against your political opponents, you don't get to say you're against terrorism.
  • Donald Trump was not actually the victim here.