October 18, 2020

CNN's Jake Tapper asked Trump daughter-in-law Lara Trump about the recent threats to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and his chants of “lock her up” at his rally over the weekend.

TAPPER: I understand he disagrees with her policies to contain the virus. Why does he continue to use such heightened rhetoric at a time when her life was literally in danger, according to the FBI?

Trump proceeded to deflect by playing the conservative victim card, made excuses for her father-in-law's attacks by irresponsibly attacking coronavirus lockdowns herself, and then told Tapper he was just “having fun.” As Tapper rightfully noted, “lock her up” isn't most people's idea of “fun.”

TRUMP: Well look, it was the president's Department of Justice that actually thwarted this attack against Gretchen Whitmer. No one should ever feel threatened. No one should ever have this sort of thing happen to them. This was awful to happen to her. […]

But look, people are frustrated around America and I was just in Michigan last week. I can tell you, people there are telling me that their businesses are being run into the ground because they cannot survive this. They still feel like they are totally locked down, and at a certain point Jake, I think people are saying, look, we live in the United States of America.

We do have some freedoms. We want to get back to some normalcy. So, people are very frustrated with that governor. It has nothing to do with this attack against her, attempted attack against her. But I think you're hearing people's frustration play out there at the Trump rally.

After Tapper asked Trump about Whitmer's Deputy Digital Director Tori Saylor's tweet discussing the fact that every time Donald Trump “does does this at a rally, the violent rhetoric towards her immediately escalates on social media,” Trump responded with a lame attempt at both-siderism, as though anyone making threats against her or anyone in her family justifies what Trump has provoked at his rallies, and then told Tapper that Trump was “just having fun” when pressed again about whether he ought to stop “throwing fuel on the fire” and “tone it down.”

TRUMP: Well look, he wasn’t doing anything, I don’t think, to provoke people to threaten this woman at all. He was having fun at a Trump rally, and quite frankly, there are bigger issues than this right now for everyday Americans.

People want to get the country reopened. They want to get back to work. Not only are we trying to make it through a pandemic, but think about all of the cancers that have gone unaddressed. Think about the kids that aren’t in school who use school to get their one meal a day Jake.

There are issues at hand here that are bigger than just keeping everybody locked down. So I think people are frustrated and, look, the president was at a rally. It’s a fun, light atmosphere. Of course he wasn’t encouraging people to threaten this woman. That's ridiculous.

What's ridiculous is that anyone in the media gives these liars any airtime in the first place.

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