Michigan Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer was caught with an allegedly controversial sign in the background of an interview she gave on Sunday after claiming that chants of “lock her up” at a Trump rally were “incentivizing domestic terrorism.”
“And then finally, last night, at the top of our show we made reference, and you became a target of the president personally, a ‘lock her up’ chant targeting you started and seemed to be almost encouraged at times by the president there,” NBC News host Chuck Todd said to Whitmer on Sunday. “You’ve already come under threat once. What does something like this do to you personally?”
Whitmer said that it was “incredibly disturbing” that the chant happened, and claimed that President Donald Trump was “inspiring and incentivizing and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism.”
Whitmer’s remarks came after a group allegedly plotted to kidnap her in response to her coronavirus lockdown measures. Many have tried to tie to the group to the political right but have failed to mention that the group included an anarchist who posted anti-Trump videos, a Black Lives Matter supporter, and someone who had been pardoned by a Democrat governor last year.
WATCH: Trump’s supporters chant “lock her up” at Mich. rally.@GovWhitmer: “Ten days after a plot to kidnap, put me on trial and execute me. Ten days after that was uncovered, the president is at it again. And inspiring and incentivizing and inciting … domestic terrorism.” pic.twitter.com/ipN3xvEbQ7
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 18, 2020
Conservatives noticed that during the same interview, Whitmer displayed an “86 45” sign in the background.
“Governor Gretchen Whitmer displayed an ’86 45′ sign during her TV appearance,” the Trump campaign said in a tweet. “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.”
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
Even New York Times reporter Kathy Gray noticed the pin during Whitmer’s television interview, tweeting: “Just noticed the 8645 pin in the lower corner of @GovWhitmer appearance on #MeetThePress.”
Republican National Committee (RNC) Rapid Response Director Steve Guest responded to Gray’s tweet by tweeting out a screenshot of a definition of “86,” which stated: “Eighty-six, eighty-sixed, 86ed, or 86’d is American English slang for canceling something, killing someone, getting rid of something (by burying it), ejecting someone, or refusing service.”
Guest specifically highlighted the portion of the definition that said that it could mean “killing someone.”
Leave it to Michigan Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer to have a pin in the background of her TV hit that says “86 45.”
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) October 18, 2020
Even the leftist fact-checking website Snopes acknowledges that “86” can be used to mean “to kill.”
Snopes wrote in a 2009 article:
One of the many oddball terms that has crept into the English language in the past century is a peculiarly inexplicable one: the verbal shortform of ‘86’ to mean ‘to dismiss or quash,’ ‘to bar entry or further service to,’ and even ‘to kill.’ While its uses have come to be widespread (one can say that the bank 86’d your scheme to have it underwrite the start-up costs of your business venture, or that a friend who made a spectacle of himself in a bar was 86’d from the place, or that a Mob boss had a particularly troublesome competitor 86’d), the origin of this now omnibus term remains obscure.