Earlier in the day, US authorities announced that 13 men with links to militia groups have been arrested and charged for allegedly plotting to kidnap Whitmer after she imposed a state-wide lockdown to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
"I knew this job would be hard, but I'll be honest, I never could have imagined anything like this," Whitmer said. "I want to start off by saying thank you to our law enforcement. Thank you to the fearless FBI agents and thank you to the brave Michigan state police troopers who participated in this operation."
Whitmer said President Donald Trump's rhetoric fuels hate groups, adding that his remarks at the first presidential debate for a certain militia group to "stand back and stand by" are seen as a call to action.
Whitmer said she hopes the state and federal charges against the 13 men will lead to convictions. The governor warned that any individuals conspiring to commit hate crimes will be found and brought to justice.
Moreover, Whitmer criticized Trump's handling of the novel coronavirus and mentioned there will be more hard days ahead during the pandemic.