RNC chair McDaniel: Trump will visit Michigan with 'peaceful protest'

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

President Donald Trump will visit Michigan ahead of the November election, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told The Detroit News. 

The promised visit comes amid executive orders from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that limits indoor gatherings to 10 people and outdoor events in lower Michigan to 100 people. 

The governor's rules are a "hurdle," McDaniel said Thursday, but she was confident the Republican president would be back in the Great Lakes state soon. 

Ronna McDaniel, Chair of the Republican National Committee, shakes hands briefly with President Donald Trump after he invited her on stage during a political rally in Battle Creek on Dec. 18, 2020.

"The president’s going to be back in Michigan," said McDaniel, who then joked, "We’re going to call it a peaceful protest, but we’re going to be there. That way the governor will allow it.”

Whitmer's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In June, Whitmer said she would consider trying to stop a Trump rally in Michigan during the pandemic, but earlier this week she seemed to soften on the idea in a television interview. 

When asked Tuesday about the possibility of a Trump rally in Michigan, Whitmer told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that her executive orders limit crowd sizes throughout the state. 

"So that would mean that rallies, no matter who wants to hold them, would be dangerous and are precluded under Michigan law right now," Whitmer said.

"Although, that being said, we know that the president is likely to come to Michigan at some point, we recognize that political speech is protected. But we've got to protect public health, too, and ask that they do what everyone else is doing and that is observe the best practices to protect life.”

The promise of a Trump stop in Michigan comes as his campaign made promises earlier this week to retake Michigan. 

Trump's son, Eric Trump, told Michigan supporters during a Wednesday phone call that “Michigan is the key to everything. Michigan is really the path to the White House.”

He urged supporters to start voting when absentee ballots become available on Sept. 19, even as the president has criticized mail-in voting.

“You can request absentee ballots. My father’s voting absentee in Florida. Michigan’s very, very safe elections, so feel free to vote absentee,” Eric Trump said.