Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer attacked President Trump for his positions on extremist groups and called for national unity in an address Thursday, following news that the FBI thwarted an alleged plot to kidnap her and violently overthrow the state government.

What she's saying: The governor, who was the target of protests by right-wing groups for implementing strict coronavirus restrictions, acknowledged she "made tough choices" to protect the state from the pandemic, but insisted "we are not one another's enemies."

  • "This virus is our enemy and this enemy is relentless, it doesn't care if you're a Republican or Democrat ... it threatens us all."
  • "When I put my hand on the Bible and took the oath of office 22 months ago, I knew this job would be hard, but I'll be honest, I never could have imagined anything like this," Whitmer said. She added that "hatred bigotry and violence have no place in the great state of Michigan."
  • "As your governor, I will never stop doing everything in my power to keep you and our state safe. Never forget that we are all in this together."

Whitmer said extremists heard President Trump's refusal at a debate last month to explicitly condemn white supremacist groups "not as a rebuke, but as rallying cry, as a call to action."

  • "This should be a moment for national unity, where we all pull together as Americans to meet this challenge head-on," Whitmer said.
  • "Instead our head of state has spent the past seven months denying science, ignoring his own health experts, stoking distrust, fomenting anger and giving comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division."

The other side: Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller responded to Whitmer moments after her address, telling Fox News: "If we want to talk about hatred, then Gov. Whitmer, go look in the mirror. The fact that she wakes up every day with such hatred in her heart towards President Trump."

Go deeper

The top Republicans who aren't voting for Trump in 2020

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said last week that he cannot support President Trump's re-election.

Why it matters: Hogan, a moderate governor in a blue state, joins other prominent Republicans who have publicly said they will either not vote for Trump's re-election this November or will back Biden.

Dave Lawler, author of World
8 mins ago - World

Special report: Trump's hopes of nuclear deal with Putin come down to the wire

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A surprise offer from Vladimir Putin has the U.S. and Russia once again circling a potential pre-election nuclear deal.

The big picture: The last treaty constraining the U.S. and Russia, New START, is due to expire on Feb. 5, 2021, two weeks after the next U.S. presidential inauguration. For the first time since the height of the Cold War, the nuclear guardrails could come off.

The cliffhanger could be ... Georgia

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1992, but Georgia's changing demographics may prove pivotal this year — not only to Trump v. Biden, but also to whether Democrats take control of the Senate.

Why it matters: If the fate of the Senate did hinge on Georgia, it might be January before we know the outcome. Meanwhile, voters' understanding of this power in the final days of the election could juice turnout enough to impact presidential results.