Trump Campaign Mocked for Claiming Item on MI Governor's Desk Was Secret Call for Trump's Assassination
Since following expert guidelines on the ways to curb the virus in her state, Michigan's Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been a favorite target of President Donald Trump.
Weeks later, state and federal officials arrested multiple people for a plot to kidnap Whitmer—a motivation seen as exacerbated by Trump's frequent vilification of the governor.
But now the Trump campaign is chastising Whitmer for what it believes is a call to violence against Trump, indicated by an innocuous item displayed on her desk during a television interview.
Whitmer's desk featured a small "86 45" button.
The term "86" is often used in the service industry for food and drink options that run out. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the slang term means "to eject or debar from premises; to reject or abandon."
The Trump campaign, however, said the term "86" means murder, and that Whitmer was calling for Trump's assassination.
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
The campaign posted a definition from the crowdsourced site urbandictionary.com, which claimed the term originated from driving someone 80 miles from civilization and burying them six feet under.
That didn't stand up to scrutiny.
Guess you didn't like the definition for "86" so you had to change it to something that's not in the photo pic.twitter.com/HTJ0nr9FNc
— Bryan Condon (@BryanCondon) October 18, 2020
The fact that the phrase is generally just defined as getting rid of someone, even if it could also potentially mean killing someone, renders this tweet misleading and dangerous. pic.twitter.com/gOE9DwjUcK
— PissedOffLawyer (@PissedOffLawyer) October 18, 2020
From a dictionary instead of Wikipedia where you probably edited it yourself.
: to refuse to serve (a customer)
also : to get rid of : THROW OUT
— Stanley Dean (@TheStanleyDean1) October 18, 2020
The campaign didn't generate the controversy it hoped, but instead underwent widespread mockery.
When I was a waitress and I rushed into the kitchen and said “86 the calamari" the chef would steel himself and, trembling, shoot the calamari in the head. https://t.co/ntmwcKHjCM
— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) October 18, 2020
They are the very worst and most absurd versions of themselves and America. https://t.co/p8IHD2F273
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) October 18, 2020
almost impossible to describe how stupid these people are https://t.co/fEZ84TDdlg
— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) October 18, 2020
“86 Hollandaise!" does not mean “capture and assassinate hollandaise" https://t.co/6lKlMKAIEu
— Dan Chiasson (@dchiasso) October 18, 2020
Others accused the Trump campaign of further endangering Whitmer by feeding delusions.
The Trump campaign is deliberately spreading a dangerous lie https://t.co/0bxpnVSxdI
— Edward Hardy (@EdwardTHardy) October 18, 2020
trump's campaign legit trying to get this woman killed. https://t.co/5SUAqXAVfR
— isi baehr-breen (its pronounced 'izzy') (@isaiah_kb) October 18, 2020