Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFeds investigating if alleged Hunter Biden emails connected to foreign intelligence operation: report Six takeaways from Trump and Biden’s dueling town halls Biden draws sharp contrast with Trump in low-key town hall MORE tore into President TrumpDonald John TrumpFeds investigating if alleged Hunter Biden emails connected to foreign intelligence operation: report Six takeaways from Trump and Biden’s dueling town halls Biden draws sharp contrast with Trump in low-key town hall MORE on Friday over his response to a foiled plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerDOJ veteran says he’s quitting over Barr’s ‘slavish obedience’ to Trump Virginia governor on alleged kidnapping plot: Trump’s rhetoric ’emboldening’ white supremacists The Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by Facebook – Barrett touts independence to sidestep confirmation questions MORE (D), accusing him of stoking tensions across the country.
Biden said the plot by a militia group to kidnap Whitmer, which the FBI foiled earlier this month, is “the sort of behavior you might expect from ISIS [that] should shock the conscience of every American.”
“But all President Trump does is fan the flames of hatred and division of this country,” he said at a rally in Southfield, Mich.
Biden, at another campaign event later that day in Detroit, also noted that Trump continued attacking Whitmer on the day the plot was revealed, with the president taking shots at the governor’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying she did a “terrible job” and “locked down her state for everyone.”
“What the hell is wrong with this guy?” Biden asked.
The FBI says Whitmer was targeted by a militia group that planned to kidnap her and hold her hostage before the November election, with reports saying the plotters had ties to the anti-government “boogaloo” movement.
Eight people have been charged in connection with plot thus far.
Whitmer first responded to the news of the kidnapping attempt by noting instances when Trump’s declined to disavow white supremacy, saying, “Hate groups heard the president’s words not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry, as a call to action,” and suggesting the president was “complicit,” sparking a harsh rebuke.
“My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement announced today that they foiled a dangerous plot against the Governor of Michigan,” Trump tweeted. “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!” he added.
Biden has made Trump’s character a cornerstone of his campaign, saying he decided to jump into the White House race after the president said there were “fine people” on “both sides” of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 during which one counterprotester was killed.