Domestic Terrorism Plot Against Governor Gretchen Whitmer - Statement by Vice President Joe Biden

Earlier today, I spoke with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. I am grateful that she and her family are safe, and I commend the FBI and other law enforcement officers for their work to prevent this deranged act by emboldened domestic terrorists.

As a nation, we are at a crossroads. We have come to a point where, despite our shock, we are not surprised that such a heinous plot was even conceived — a plot by Americans to blow up a bridge on American soil, threaten the lives of police officers and other law enforcement officials, and kidnap an American leader, take her hostage, and stage a mock trial for treason. It’s the kind of twisted plot we expect from ISIS, but now it’s here at home.

The words of a president matter. They can move markets. They can bring peace. They can bring war. They can heal divisions or incite violence.

When Governor Whitmer worked to protect the people of her state from a deadly pandemic, and saved countless lives, President Trump issued a call to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” That call was heard. When protesters with Swastikas and Confederate flags, nooses, and assault rifles descended on Michigan’s capitol echoing the President’s own refrain to “lock her up,” President Trump called them “very good people.” He was heard, just as he was heard by neo-Nazis in Charlottesville three years ago, and again last week, when he told the extremist Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”

There is a throughline from President Trump’s dog whistles and tolerance of hate, vengeance, and lawlessness to plots such as this one. He is giving oxygen to the bigotry and hate we see on the march in our country.

We have to stop it.

I just spoke a few days ago in Gettysburg about the cost of division in this country and the need to stand up and shut down violence and hate. The moment has come. We need to come together for the country I know, for the country you know. We need to make our voice heard.