Eric Trump canceled a visit to a gun shop in Michigan where one of the men accused of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used to work.
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Eric Trump canceled a visit to a Michigan gun shop after it was discovered that one of the 13 men accused of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used to work there. Huron Valley Guns wrote in a Facebook post that one of the men accused in the plot worked there for three weeks in February and was fired after showing up to work wearing "a LOT of tactical gear." "We found that a little odd. We weren't comfortable with him for a few other reasons and fired him after 3 weeks. He ended up being one of the fringe characters arrested for the Governor Whitmer kidnapping," the organization wrote. Ed Swadish, owner of Huron Valley Guns, told The Detroit News that he couldn't reveal the name of the employee on the advice of his lawyers but said the former employee worked on the gun range. "If this were a factory, this would be the equivalent of a floor sweeper," Swadish said of the person, according to the Detroit News. Federal and state officials brought charges against thirteen people on suspicion of plotting to kidnap Whitmer. An FBI affidavit said the men reached out to members of an armed right-wing militia in Michigan to carry out their plan. "In early 2020, the FBI became aware through social media that a group of individuals were discussing the violent overthrow of certain government and law-enforcement components. Among those individuals identified were Croft and Fox," Richard Trask II, an FBI agent, wrote in the sworn affidavit. The gun shop said that while it was sad that Eric Trump changed venues, it was glad the news came out early. "The Governor would have had a field day against the Trump campaign. They would accuse the administration of sending his son to a facility where terrorists work and train. This could not be further from the truth, but imagine the left spin," they wrote in the Facebook post. The Trump Organization did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment at the time of publication.
Read more: 'They didn't do anything about it': Whitmer fires back after Trump campaign says she has 'hatred' for the president, claims White House knew about threats and didn't help Armed right-wing militia hatched a plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan and violently overthrow the state government, the FBI says Gov. Whitmer says she has 'always felt safe' but doubles down on charges that extremists are 'finding comfort' in Republican rhetoric Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Here's what it's like to travel during the coronavirus outbreak
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Trump laughs at 'lock her up' chants about Gretchen Whitmer at Michigan rally, just days after the FBI said it foiled a right-wing militia plot to kidnap her
Summary List PlacementAt a campaign rally in Michigan on Saturday, President Donald Trump criticized Gov. Gretchen...Summary List PlacementAt a campaign rally in Michigan on Saturday, President Donald Trump criticized Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's coronavirus restrictions, prompting the crowd to chant "lock her up," less than two weeks after FBI said it foiled a right-wing militia plot to kidnap her. Trump responded to the chant with "lock 'em all up." The President mentions the Governor of Michigan, the crowd chants lock her up, and the President says lock them all up pic.twitter.com/9wuB7blnoP — Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) October 17, 2020 Whitmer took to Twitter to respond. "This is exactly the rhetoric that has put me, my family, and other government officials' lives in danger while we try to save the lives of our fellow Americans," she said. "It needs to stop." Authorities announced on October 8 that 13 men were charged in connection to plots to kidnap Whitmer and overthrow the state's government. Federal prosecutors said the scheme included months of planning, and involved monitoring the governor's vacation home and building bombs. Whitmer has already criticized the president's response to the kidnapping plot, saying his administration "didn't do anything" when she first raised concerns about her safety. She has faced blowback from the president and other Republican lawmakers for her response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, armed protesters descended upon the Michigan capitol to oppose the governor's statewide lockdown. At the time, Trump had called on his supporters in a tweet to "LIBERATE MICHIGAN."Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: What happens to animals during wildfires
Gov. Whitmer says she has 'always felt safe' but doubles down on charges that extremists are 'finding comfort' in Republican rhetoric
Summary List Placement Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer doubled down on her claims that Republican leaders...Summary List Placement Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer doubled down on her claims that Republican leaders are galvanizing extremist groups. Whitmer was a target of a failed kidnapping plot by at least six men who had ties to the militant "boogaloo" movement that allegedly urged its members to conduct surveillance on the governor's private home. "I have always felt safe," Whitmer said in a Sunday interview with "Face The Nation" on CBS. "But I do believe that there are still serious threats that groups like this group, these domestic terrorists, are finding comfort and support in the rhetoric coming out of Republican leadership from the White House to the State House," she added. "So I remain concerned about safety and integrity going into this election" This past week, federal prosecutors charged six men for plotting to kidnap Whitmer and seven other men for terrorism-related crimes. Whitmer stated in a press conference and an op-ed that Trump is "complicit" in the extremist violence, pointing out that "when our leaders encourage domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions." Many protesters in Michigan expressed anger at Whitmer for carrying out a statewide lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Several of these men charged, who have also been linked to several extremist groups, were also involved with the anti-lockdown protests, the Michigan Attorney General stated in an interview with MSNBC on Thursday. "Whether people support me politically or they supported my opponent in the last election, my job as governor is to make sure that Michigan is a place where we are saving lives or following the science," Whitmer told CBS on Sunday. Read more: Gretchen Whitmer, who was at the center of a failed kidnapping plot, says Trump encourages domestic terrorists by legitimizing their actions Suspects in Michigan plot hid their cellphones in a box to be safe but failed to check one another for wires, FBI says Suspects accused of targeting Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have a history of ties to self-styled militias. Here's what you need to know about these extremist groups. Armed right-wing militia hatched a plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan and violently overthrow the state government, the FBI says Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: July 15 is Tax Day — here's what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time
Summary List Placement Two of the men charged with terrorism-related crimes and a plot to kidnap...Summary List Placement Two of the men charged with terrorism-related crimes and a plot to kidnap the Michigan governor on Thursday are Marine Corps veterans, a service spokesperson reportedly said. A Marine Corps spokesman told Marine Corps Times on Saturday that Joseph Morrison, 26, was a Marine reservist since 2015. Morrison was reportedly discharged as a lance corporal, a junior enlisted service member, on Thursday. The spokesman told the Marine Corps Times that his recent discharge was unrelated to the alleged plot he was implicated in. Morrison was one of the cofounders of an armed militant group dubbed the "Wolverine Watchmen," according to state investigators. The group was said to have had a broad goal of fueling a "civil war leading to societal collapse." Another Marine veteran, 23-year-old Daniel Harris, enlisted in the service when he was 18 in 2015, according to the Marine Corps Times. Harris, who was an infantryman, was discharged in 2019. Harris was one of six men charged by federal attorneys for allegedly conspiring to kidnap Gov. Whitmer. Both of the veterans' military awards mentioned in the report were unremarkable. A total of six men, including Harris, are facing federal charges with the plot to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. Seven others, including Morrison, are facing state terrorism-related charges. The group, which has ties to the amorphous militant "boogaloo" movement, allegedly urged its members to conduct surveillance on Gov. Whitmer's private home and gather information on law enforcement officers to kill them. Adam Fox, one of the six men who was charged in the plot, was quoted saying he needed "200 men" to attack the Capitol in Lansing and take hostages, including Whitmer. "Snatch and grab, man. Grab the f---in' governor. Just grab the b----," Fox said during a July 27 meeting recorded by an informant, according to the affidavit. "Because at that point, we do that, dude — it's over." Gov. Whitmer has been criticized by conservative activists for the state's response to the coronavirus. In April, Whitmer extended a stay-at-home order that imposed restrictions on businesses that were classified as essential. The order was later rescinded as part of the state's reopening plans. The armed group's associates characterized Whitmer as a "tyrant b----," according to a federal affidavit. Harris's attorney denied his client's alleged involvement was intentional. "All of this is something that he didn't envision happening, so he has given me information that makes me call into question at least some of the things that are related in the complaint," Parker Douglas, the attorney for Harris, said to WJRT-TV. "And that just means certain things that may have been said or related that he believes may have been taken out of context."Join the conversation about this story »