Donald Trump is unrepentant scum. Okay, you say, I know, but what now?
At a Tuesday rally in Michigan, Trump tried to pretend that on his previous trip to Michigan, he didn’t encourage the crowd in a “lock her up” chant directed at Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who at that point had recently been revealed to be the target of a kidnapping plot. Trump then went on to brag that “our people,” as in U.S. attorneys, “helped her out with her problem,” by filing charges against the would-be kidnappers. But wait.
“We’ll have to see if it’s a problem, right?” Trump continued. “People are entitled to say maybe it was a problem, maybe it wasn’t.”
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How’s that for moral relativism? Maybe a plot by a group of men to kidnap a woman because they disagree with her on politics is a problem, maybe it isn’t. We’ll have to see.
See what? If another group of domestic terrorists tries a similar plot against a public servant and succeeds? If, notwithstanding messages between the conspirators saying things like “Snatch and grab, man. Grab the f**kin' Governor. Just grab the bitch. Because at that point, we do that, dude—it's over,” some of them manage to avoid conviction, allowing Trump to claim the whole thing was fake news?
“Every time the president ramps up this violent rhetoric, every time he fires up Twitter to launch another broadside against me, my family and I see a surge of vicious attacks sent our way,” Whitmer wrote in an op-ed published the same day Trump said “We’ll have to see if it’s a problem.” She continued, “This is no coincidence, and the president knows it. He is sowing division and putting leaders, especially women leaders, at risk. And all because he thinks it will help his reelection.”
That’s what Trump was doing on October 17 when his audience responded to a mention of Whitmer by chanting “Lock her up” and he responded “Lock them all up.” And it’s what he was doing on Tuesday by suggesting that hey, people are entitled to think kidnapping plots against public officials aren’t a problem. He’s putting lives at risk, and he’s letting us know he’s just getting started.