President Trump on Thursday criticized Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a series of tweets, and then an appearance on Fox News, after it was revealed the FBI thwarted an alleged plot to kidnap her and violently overthrow the state government.

Why it matters: Trump's tweets comes after Whitmer attacked President Trump for his positions on extremist groups in a speech earlier Thursday. The governor said extremists heard 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."

What he's saying: "Governor Whitmer of Michigan has done a terrible job. She locked down her state for everyone, except her husband’s boating activities. The Federal Government provided tremendous help to the Great People of Michigan. My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement announced..."

  • "...today that they foiled a dangerous plot against the Governor of Michigan. Rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist—while Biden and Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, Anarchists, Looters and Mobs that burn down Democrat run cities...
  • "...I do not tolerate ANY extreme violence. Defending ALL Americans, even those who oppose and attack me, is what I will always do as your President! Governor Whitmer—open up your state, open up your schools, and open up your churches!"

The bottom line: Whitmer thanked law enforcement in her press conference on Thursday.

  • "Thank you to the fearless FBI agents. And thank you to the brave Michigan state police troopers who participated in this operation."

Go deeper

Oct 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Man arrested after threat to kidnap mayor of Wichita, Kansas

A 59-year-old man is facing a criminal threat charge over "threatening statements directed toward city of Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple" in Kansas, per a police statement.

Details: Meredith Dowty was arrested Friday. Threats sent to someone who knows the suspect and Whipple showed anger about a city coronavirus mask mandate, the mayor said to CNN.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
5 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.