Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer condemned President Trump for inciting domestic terrorism. “It is wrong. It’s got to end. It is dangerous, not just for me and my family but public servants everywhere,” she said.
Whitmer’s comments came 10 days after the public learned the FBI thwarted a militia group’s attempt to kidnap her and one day after President Trump spoke at a Michigan rally where his supporters chanted, “Lock her up.”
The Trump campaign pointed out a small pin resting on the table behind Whitmer during her interview. The pin contained the numbers “8645.” “Whitmer is encouraging assassination attempts against President Trump,” Trump’s campaign alleged, explaining that “86 can be shorthand for killing someone.” The last two numbers refer to Trump, who is the 45th president of the United States.
Whitmer and Trump have accused the other of creating a volatile climate in a year where a global pandemic and racial justice protests have occurred against the backdrop of one of the most contentious presidential elections in modern American history. The tweet from the Trump campaign marks the latest among a line of fiery attacks exchanged between the president and Whitmer.
According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, “86” is slang for refusing to serve a customer. It can also mean to get rid of or throw out. The etymology for the term is disputed, explains Ben Zimmer in The Atlantic, but it has its origins in the restaurant industry to refer to menu items that are