Donald Trump's campaign is accusing Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer of "encouraging assassination attempts" on the President on Sunday afternoon after she displayed an '8645' sign during a recent interview.
Trump's campaign, which uses the Twitter handle 'Trump War Room" on Twitter, pointed out the clearly visible "8645" on a table beside Whitmer during an interview with NBC News host Chuck Todd on 'Meet the Press' Sunday morning, claiming it is an anti-Trump message encouraging the President's execution nearly two weeks before the election.
"Governor Gretchen Whitmer displayed an '86 45' sign during her TV appearance. 86 can be shorthand for killing someone," the Trump campaign tweeted, alongside a screenshot from the governor's interview.
"Whitmer is encouraging assassination attempts against President Trump just weeks after someone sent a ricin-laced package to the White House," the twitter account added. A package containing ricin - a poison derived from castor beans that can prove to be fatal - was addressed to Trump last month.
What Does '8645' Mean?
The "8645" symbol seen beside Whitmer appears to be an expression of solidarity with a movement that is opposing Trump's re-election next month. The set of numbers, as listed on Urban Dictionary, are "a sneaky way to illustrate one's support of getting rid of Trump, '86ing' the 45th president."
Merriam-Webster defines eighty-six as a slang term synonymous with the following phrases: "to refuse to serve (a customer)", "to get rid off", or "throw out".
Websites such as Amazon and Etsy are selling "8645" T-shirts, masks and decals describing the term as an anti-Trump message to "get rid off" or "impeach" the president. Some products lengthen the expression to "864511320" to encourage voting the president out Nov. 3.
"The silly season is officially here. It's pretty clear nobody in the Trump campaign has ever worked a food service job," a spokesperson for Whitmer told Newsweekon Sunday. "Here's the bottom line: the president is not only a super spreader of COVID-19, he is also a super spreader of hate and fear. His divisive rhetoric needs to stop, and we need a president who will bring Americans together to defeat COVID-19."