Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiLatest Mnuchin-Pelosi call produces ‘encouraging news on testing’ for stimulus package McConnell details 0 billion COVID-19 bill set for Wednesday vote Graham: Congress should go ‘big and smart’ on COVID-19 package MORE (D-Calif.) chastised President TrumpDonald John TrumpLatest Mnuchin-Pelosi call produces ‘encouraging news on testing’ for stimulus package China warns it will detain American nationals following DOJ prosecution of Chinese scholars: report Musician John Fogerty issues cease and desist over Trump use of ‘Fortunate Son’ MORE for promoting “fear tactics” during his campaign rallies, calling his Saturday appearance in Michigan “so irresponsible.”
“The president has to realize that the words of the president of the United States weigh a ton,” Pelosi told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “And in our political dialogue, to inject fear tactics into it, especially a woman governor and her family, is so irresponsible.”
The speaker criticized Trump for calling for his supporters to “get your governor to open up your state, okay? And get your schools open” during his rally in Western Michigan in reference to Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerCrowd chants ‘lock her up’ about Whitmer at Michigan Trump rally Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 How to prevent electoral violence at home MORE (D).
His comment prompted the crowd to chant “lock her up,” a chant used during his 2016 rallies against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden camp urges supporters to ‘campaign like we’re trailing’ Censoring the Biden story: How social media becomes state media NYT editorial calls Trump the ‘greatest threat to American democracy since World War II’ MORE, leading the president to respond on Saturday saying, “Lock ‘em all up.”
“In all fairness to people who listen to him, people think the president is important and what he says should be adhered to,” Pelosi said during her interview. “And so we have this horrible situation.”
“But the people have awakened to him, 26 million people already voting,” she added. “The biggest anecdote to his poison is the vote.”
JUST IN: Speaker Nancy Pelosi tells @GStephanopoulos Trump’s rhetoric at Michigan rally was “irresponsible.”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 18, 2020
Saturday’s “lock her up” chants against Whitmer came more than a week after the FBI announced it foiled a militia group’s plans to kidnap her and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), partly over their coronavirus restrictions.
Trump further planted doubt in Whitmer by saying the crowd needed to “be careful of her and her attorney general because you know they’re like in charge of the ballot stuff.”
“How the hell do I put my political and our country’s political life in the hands of a pure partisan like that?” he told the crowd.
The governor herself responded to Trump’s and his rallygoers’ remarks in a Twitter post, saying “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.”
“It needs to stop,” she added.
She previously said the president was “complicit” in stoking extremist groups after the FBI first announced the arrests of those attempting to abduct her.
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. It needs to stop. https://t.co/EWkNQx3Ppx
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) October 17, 2020
Whitmer has faced several legal challenges to her coronavirus restrictions, including when the Michigan Supreme Court ruled last week that the governor could not delay a decision on whether she had the authority to continue a state of emergency during the pandemic.