President Donald Trump escalated his criticism of the “radical left” over efforts to remove statues of historical figures linked to slavery during a rally in Michigan, after the state’s governor accused him of fomenting division following a plot to kidnap her.
Trump on Saturday told supporters in Muskegon that one of the most important issues in his race against Democrat Joe Biden is “the radical left’s plan to erase American history, purge American values and destroy the American way of life and that’s what they’re trying to do.”
He mocked discussions about removing statues that have gained currency in recent months after nationwide protests drew attention to police brutality against people of color.
“This election will decide whether we preserve our magnificent heritage or whether we allow far left radicals to wipe it all away,” he said.
Earlier this month, federal authorities charged right-wing militia members in connection with a plot to overthrow the government of Michigan by storming the Capitol, kidnapping Governor Gretchen Whitmer and trying her for treason. Whitmer, a Democrat, blamed Trump for creating an environment that encourages radical criminal behavior.
The president earlier this year issued a tweet urging citizens to “liberate” their states amid lockdowns to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The Federal Bureau of Investigation said that the kidnapping plot took root prior to Trump’s tweet.
“You got to get your governor to open up your state,” Trump said at the Muskegon rally. The crowd responded with a “lock her up” chant, to which Trump replied “lock ‘em all up.”
Trump is set to deliver a second rally later in the evening in Janesville, Wisconsin.
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