Tudor Dixon makes kidnapping joke about Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

One of the most high-profile domestic terrorism cases in recent memory is now, according to a Trump-backed Republican gubernatorial candidate in Michigan, a punchline.

In 2020, federal officials broke up a kidnapping plot that targeted Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D), resulting in criminal charges against six people and convictions for two of them last month. Whitmer’s rival in the November general election referenced the plot on Friday, prompting laughter from supporters. Twice.

At one event, Republican challenger Tudor Dixon said: ‘The sad thing is Gretchen will tie your hands, put a gun to your head and ask if you’re ready to talk. For someone so scared of being kidnapped, Gretchen Whitmer is good at taking things hostage and holding them for ransom.

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Dixon drew applause and laughter with the line, according to a video posted online by a journalist present. She spoke while standing in front of a backdrop that read “Michigan Families United,” an organization that says it advocates for “a family-friendly agenda” for the state.

At another event Friday, Dixon said that when Whitmer appeared with President Biden at a Detroit auto show recently, her facial expression seemed to say, “I’d rather be kidnapped by the FBI.” CNN reported.

Later, she added“I think when you’re getting attacked every day, you have to have a bit of lightness in things — you can still have fun.”

Dixon made the remarks as she was joined on the campaign trail by former President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., and top adviser Kellyanne Conway. The former president, who backed Dixon just before her August primary, will host a rally with Dixon and other candidates in the state on Oct. 1.

Maeve Coyle, spokeswoman for Whitmer’s campaign, said in A declaration“Threats of violence… are no laughing matter”, adding that “the fact that Tudor Dixon thinks this is a joke shows that she is absolutely unfit to hold public office”.

The comments come amid growing concerns from Democrats that Republican rhetoric is fueling threats of political violence, particularly against federal officials after a court-ordered search of Trump’s Florida home for classified government documents he stored there.

Even before a crowd of Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, as Congress certified Biden’s victory in the presidential election, Michigan had seen its highest government office overrun by armed protesters. .

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In April 2020, Michigan’s Capitol was stormed by armed protesters who said they wanted the state to lift security measures put in place during the pandemic. “A handful of them, dressed in camouflage gear with semi-automatic rifles slung over their shoulders, watched ominously from the gallery above the Senate Chamber as the elected officials did their work,” reported the New York Times.

Less than six months later, the FBI charged six men with planning to kidnap Whitmer, and several others with planning to attack law enforcement officials, overthrow the government and start a civil war. One person in the group, Adam Fox, spoke of the need for “200 men” to storm the capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, and take hostages, including Whitmer, according to prosecutors. Fox said they would try Whitmer for “treason” before the November election, they said.

Fox and another defendant, Barry Croft Jr., were found guilty by a federal jury of two counts of conspiracy, one related to the kidnapping plan and the other to obtain and use a weapon of mass destruction. . The men risk life in prison.

At the time, Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (right) condemned the suspects on Twitter, writing, “A threat to our governor is a threat to us all.

He added: “We condemn those who plotted against her and our government. They are not patriots.

A spokesperson for the Democratic Governors Association called Dixon’s comments on Friday “dangerous.” He added that the remarks are “completely disqualifying for the role of governor of Michigan.”

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