A subtle detail in the background of a television interview has sparked a wild theory of a plot encouraging the assassination of US President Donald Trump.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press program on Sunday (local time) where eagle-eyed viewers spotted a small plaque in the background of her interview.
Sitting next to a pot plant behind Governor Whitmer were the numbers “8645”.
The number 86 is shorthand slang for ejecting somebody, cancelling them or even killing someone.
Trump is also the 45th president of the United States.
A verified Twitter account for the Trump campaign hit out at the sign during the TV appearance.
“86 can be shorthand for killing someone,” the tweet said.
“Whitmer is encouraging assassination attempts against President Trump just weeks after someone sent a ricin-laced package to the White House.”
Some are defending the governor on Twitter, saying that she is not calling for an assassination and instead for him to be removed from office.
“It means to kick out, or to ban from an establishment,” one said.
“86 means to cancel an order,” another claimed.
“86 means removed, or no longer offered on the menu. She’s threatening a coup. That’s what she means,” a third added.
However many heavily criticised her as “evil” over the subtle detail and claimed she had “threatened” the president.
Whitmer target of alleged kidnapping plot
The interview comes after it was uncovered by the FBI earlier this month that Governor Whitmer was the target of an alleged kidnapping plot.
Six men have been arrested on federal kidnapping charges and are accused of conspiring over the summer to abduct Governor Whitmer, who has clashed with Trump over stay-at-home measures she ordered in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following the uncovered alleged plot, Trump at a rally in Michigan on Saturday slammed her support for restrictions to limit the spread of novel coronavirus, which has surged in parts of the US in recent weeks.
Trump comments on Whitmer spark ‘lock her up’ chants
Trump’s remarks targeting Governor Whitmer led to chants of “lock her up”, a phrase Trump supporters often directed at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who lost to Trump in 2016.
Speaking on Meet the Press, Governor Whitmer said the behaviour was “incredibly disturbing”.
“Ten days after a plot to kidnap, put me on trial and execute me ... 10 days after that was uncovered, the president is at it again and inspiring and incentivising and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism,” she said.
“It is wrong. It’s got to end. It is dangerous not just for me and my family, but for public servants everywhere who are doing their jobs and trying to protect their fellow Americans.
“People of goodwill on both sides of the aisle need to step up and call this out and bring the heat down. This is the United States of America.”
Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller told Fox News Sunday Trump had no regrets about what he said during Saturday's rally about Governor Whitmer, or joining in the chants.
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