MI AG Nessel on Plot to Kidnap Gov. Whitmer: Trump’s Rhetoric a ‘Command to Action’ to Extremists

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Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) said on Thursday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Live With Katy Tur,” that President Donald Trump’s rhetoric played a role in the plot to violently overthrow the state government by kidnaping Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, thwarted by the FBI.

Nessel said, “Well, obviously, they traffic in the politics of extremism, but I’ll say this, I’m a lifelong Michigander, and you can go back to the Oklahoma City bombing and see there’s a relationship between Michigan militia groups and that horrible event, but things died down for quite some time. Things escalated exponentially recently, and first of all, of course, having a president that seems to condone these types of actions. Certainly, I would say more than dog whistles out there. Right? I mean, very good people on both sides. And as you indicated before, tweets to liberate Michigan. What does that mean exactly? And, you know, calls to stand back and stand by talking about the Proud Boys. So this is a president that traffics in extremism. I hear the press frequently talk about it in terms of a dog whistle to these groups, but to me, it’s not a dog whistle. It is really a command to action more than anything. Especially I see that in terms of our governor.”

She continued, “What these groups often tend to do is they take advantage of moments of civil unrest and between the COVID epidemic and the Black Lives Matter protests, things have only escalated more and more. You see this hateful rhetoric against our governor for months and months and seen it enabled not just by the president but by other elected leaders in our state that call her a dictator or use other very hostile language towards her. I think that this is building up for a long time, the FBI has taken note of it, and it was time to step in and to ensure that she did not lose her life and that we didn’t have anybody else in our states potentially threatened either and time to move forward on these 13 different defendants.”

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