Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer talks foiled kidnapping, execution plot: 'We have to call out domestic terrorism'

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined The View on Tuesday and discussed the chilling allegations of a plot by an antigovernment group to kidnap her and start a civil war.

“It’s very clear from the affidavits that it wasn’t simply to kidnap, it was to put me on a trial of some sort and then possibly execute me,” Whitmer told the show’s co-hosts. “That’s the kind of thing you’d expect to hear from a group like ISIS.”

But the FBI and state authorities foiled the alleged attempt, arresting 13 men in connection with it and charging them with a variety of crimes, including conspiring to commit kidnapping and providing material support to terrorist activities.

At least two of the men involved, William and Michael Null, previously participated in and were photographed at armed lockdown protests at the Michigan state Capitol in April.

Michael Null (R) and William Null (L) arrive at the American Patriot Rally, organized by Michigan United for Liberty, to demand the reopening of businesses on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, on April 30, 2020. Other men are unidentified. - Thirteen men, including members of two right-wing militias, have been arrested for plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and "instigate a civil war", Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced on October 8, 2020. The Nulls were charged for their alleged roles in the plot to kidnap Whitmer, according to the FBI. The brothers are charged with providing support for terroristic acts and felony weapons charges. (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)
Brothers Michael Null, right, and William Null, left, at a protest at the Michigan state Capitol on April 30. (Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images)

Whitmer, a Democrat, made it clear that this was a terrorist plot, not the actions of a disgruntled militia group.

“And that’s why when people refer to these groups casually as militias, we have to call it for what it is, and we have to call out domestic terrorism,” Whitmer said.

Right-wing groups have criticized Whitmer for locking down the state in an attempt to curb COVID-19 infections and deaths. She has tried to portray it as a nonpartisan issue.

“And in my comments shortly after the plot was revealed, I quoted Ronald Reagan because I know there are Republicans of goodwill who will stand with me,” Whitmer said.

Critics of President Trump believe he’s stoked the rhetoric that led to the alleged kidnapping plot, particularly when he tweeted out “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” — which some say signaled his support to protesters who pushed back against the COVID-19 restrictions Whitmer put in place.

After the alleged plot to overthrow Whitmer was revealed, Trump criticized her for not thanking law enforcement, even though she did so explicitly.

On The View, Whitmer reacted to Trump’s petty comment without mentioning his name.

“It was an opportunity to say, ‘How are you doing? How is your family? We care about you. We might not agree but we care about you,’” Whitmer said. “That would be a deeply decent thing to do, but that’s not what happened in this administration.”

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