Gov. Gretchen Whitmer blasts ‘depraved men’ in kidnap plot

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday that she and her family were “extremely grateful” that authorities disrupted a kidnap plot against her — and blasted the militia members allegedly involved as “sick and depraved men.”

The Wolverine State’s Democratic leader then quickly pivoted to take aim at President Trump.

“Our head of state has spent the past seven months denying science, ignoring his own health experts, stoking distrust, fomenting anger and giving comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division,” she said.

Whitmer also accused Trump of having “stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacists and hate groups” with his remarks to the Proud Boys during a debate with former Vice President Joe Biden last week.

“‘Stand back and stand by,’ he told them,” she said.

“‘Stand back and stand by.’ Hate groups heard the president’s words not as a rebuke but as a rallying cry, as a call to action.”

Whitmer said members of two militia groups had plotted against her.

She didn’t name either, but state Attorney General Dana Nessel earlier Thursday identified one as the “Wolverine Watchmen.”

“I knew this job was going to be hard, but I’ll be honest, I never could have imagined anything like this,” Whitmer said.

Whitmer, who repeatedly faced protests by armed demonstrators over her coronavirus lockdown orders earlier this year, implicitly tied the kidnap scheme to social divisions sparked by the pandemic.

Gretchen Whitmer speaking about the kidnapping plot.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks about the kidnapping plot.

“We are not each other’s enemies,” she said.

“The virus is our enemy.”

Whitmer also said that “this is a time for national unity” and concluded her address by telling Michigan residents that “our hard work and sacrifices have saved thousands of lives” and pledging that “I will never stop doing everything in my power to keep you and your families safe.”

“You don’t have to agree with me, but I do ask one thing: Never forget that we are all in this together,” she said.