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'Gov. Whitmer is sowing division.' White House responds after Whitmer addresses kidnapping plot

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Posted at 4:44 PM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 17:06:55-04

(WXYZ) — Shortly after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the public regarding an elaborate kidnapping plot thwarted by FBI and several other law enforcement agencies Wednesday night, the White House released a statement on behalf of President Trump, who was directly mentioned in Whitmer's press conference.

RELATED: 13 charged by state, feds in plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

“President Trump has continually condemned white supremacists and all forms of hate," wrote White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany in a statement. "Governor Whitmer is sowing division by making these outlandish allegations. America stands united against hate and in support of our federal law enforcement who stopped this plot.”

Whitmer directly criticized President Donald Trump for "stoking distrust" and "giving comfort to those who spread fear and division."

RELATED: Whitmer blasts Trump for refusing to condemn hate groups, compares them to group in kidnapping plot

"This should be a moment for national unity where we all pull together as Americans to meet this challenge head-on," she said.

She said Trump refused to condemn white supremacists and hate groups, comparing them to the militia groups involved in the kidnapping plot.

"When our leaders speak, their words matter," Whitmer said. "They carry weight."

Later Thursday evening, President Trump took to Twitter to address Gov. Whitmer directly, saying that she's "done a terrible job" as governor. He also addresses Whitmer condemning him for not coming out against white supremacy.

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Whitmer swiftly responded to Trump's tweet saying, "Mr. President, I though you weren't interested in a virtual debate? You clearly didn't watch my speech earlier. Feel free to tune in."

Other public figures have also weighed in on the plot to kidnap and kill the Michigan governor, offering their sympothy.

Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D-Wayne County) saying, “It is terrifying. It is disgusting and I hope it is a wakeup call for the Michigan Capitol Commission that has the ability to ban guns from this Capitol building."

When reporters asked Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden to comment on the incident outside an Arizona airport Thursday, he responded saying, "There is no place for hate in America, and both of us have been talking about this for some time, about how white supremacists and these militias are a genuine threat. I've got to compliment the FBI and the police agencies for what they did, and how they stepped up. But look, the words of a president matter whether they can -- as you’ve heard me say this before. They can cause a nation to have the market rise or fall, go to war or bring peace. But they can also breath oxygen into those who are filled with hate and danger and I just think it’s got to stop. The president has to realize the words he utters matter.”

So far 13 have been charged in connection to the kidnapping plot.