Trump campaign senior adviser Lara Trump defended her father-in-law on Sunday when grilled on the President's latest attack against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) during a rally the night before, which involved joining in on chants of "lock her up" just days after the Federal Bureau of Investigation foiled an alleged right-wing conspiracy to kidnap and possibly kill her.
At the MI rally Saturday, Trump said of Whitmer, "I guess they said she was threatened and she blamed me. Lock them all up!"
He then paused for an extended period of time as the crowd built up the chant "lock her up". "Get your governor to open up your state".
On Saturday night, just 17 days before Election Day, Trump held a rally in Muskegon, Mich., where he downplayed the plot against Whitmer and castigated the Democrat for local lockdown measures aimed at curtailing the coronavirus.
The governor criticized Trump for declining to denounce such groups.
"I guess they said she was threatened, right?"
In questioning Donald Trump at last week's town hall about his indiscriminate retweeting about a conspiracy theory that Joe Biden orchestrated to have Seal Team 6 killed to cover up the fake death of Osama Bin Laden, NBC's Savannah Guthrie said, "I don't get that".
Ronna McDaniel said it was "inappropriate" for Whitmer to blame Trump for putting her in harm's way, in an interview on ABC's "This Week". "It just has to", she said.
But Trump's senior adviser and daughter-in-law Lara Trump dismissed the rally's chants as part of the "fun" setting.
Trump denied that the President was doing anything to "provoke" people to threaten Whitmer and quipped that "he was having fun at a Trump rally". "Look, the president was at a rally. Of course he wasn't encouraging people to threaten this woman; that's ridiculous".
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday urged Trump to "realize that the words of the president of the United States weigh a ton".
CNN's Jake Tapper acknowledged that threats against her or her family are "detestable" before asking Trump whether the President himself should "tone it down". "The biggest antidote to his poison is the vote", she said.