Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer has found herself in hot water this week, as Donald Trump’s campaign is accusing her of “encouraging assassination attempts” against the president with a discreet message that could be seen behind her during a television appearance.
While appearing on “Meet The Press” on Sunday, Whitmer held nothing back as she bashed Trump for his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As Whitmer spoke virtually from her home in Lansing, the digits “8645” could be seen in bubble letters perched by a house plant on a coffee table behind her.
“Governor Gretchen Whitmer displayed an ’86 45′ sign during her TV appearance. 86 can be shorthand for killing someone,” tweeted Trump War Room. “Whitmer is encouraging assassination attempts against President Trump just weeks after someone sent a ricin-laced package to the White House.”
Governor Gretchen Whitmer displayed an "86 45" sign during her TV appearance.
86 can be shorthand for killing someone.
Whitmer is encouraging assassination attempts against President Trump just weeks after someone sent a ricin-laced package to the White House. pic.twitter.com/GzvtrjH40A
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) October 18, 2020
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The tweet referred to a disturbing incident that took place last month in which the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service intercepted an envelope addressed to the White House that was found to contain the deadly substance ricin. A Canadian woman was eventually arrested for sending the package, and she is currently facing federal charges in connection to the case.
Tori Saylor, deputy digital and creative director for Whitmer, retweeted a post that praised the governor for having the digits “8645” visible in the interview.
“Bright and beautiful. Nothing but respect. RBG. 8645. Nice plant, too. 10/10,” the tweet read.
— Room Rater (@ratemyskyperoom) October 18, 2020
The term “86” is typically used colloquially as slang for “canceling someone, killing someone, or ejecting someone, sometimes from a bar or restaurant,” according to Fox News. Whitmer’s office has yet to respond despite being contacted for comment.
Courtney Parella, the deputy national press secretary for the Trump campaign, released a brief statement saying, “By Gretchen Whitmer’s own standard, displaying something encouraging people to ‘86’ the President is employing dangerous rhetoric.”
During her “Meet The Press” interview, Whitmer had accused Trump of using violent rhetoric against her at a rally the day before. During this rally in Muskegon, Michigan, Trump said, “you gotta get your governor to open up your state,” adding “you gotta get your schools open.”
The crowd then began to chant “Lock her up,” referring to Whitmer, at which time Trump added, “Lock them all up.”
“It’s incredibly disturbing that the President of the United States — 10 days after a plot to kidnap, put me on trial, and execute me — 10 days after that was uncovered, the president is at it again and inspiring, incentivizing and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism,” Whitmer said after a clip from the rally was shown.
“It is wrong,” she added. “It has got to end – not just for me and my family but for public servants everywhere who are doing their jobs and trying to protect their fellow Americans.”