President Donald Trump on Friday attacked the governors of Washington and Michigan for not being appreciative enough to him during the coronavirus crisis.
‘I think they should be appreciative,’ he said during his daily White House briefing. ‘When they’re not appreciative to me. They are not appreciative to the army corps. They are not appreciative to FEMA. It’s not right.’
He added that: ‘If they don’t treat you right, I don’t call.’
Both Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has complained they’re not getting enough supplies and support from the federal government as their states battle the coronavirus. The United States has seen more than 1,000 people infected.
President Donald Trump attacked the governors of Washington and Michigan for not being appreciative enough
Washington state Governor Jay Inslee told President Trump he needs to be more of a ‘Tom Brady’ in combatting the coronavirus
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer complained of supply orders to her state being canceled
Whitmore refused to engage the president on the matter, saying officials should be fighting the coronavirus, not each other.
‘Right now, we all need to be focused on fighting the virus, not each other. I’m willing to work with anyone as long as we get the personal protective equipment we need for the people of Michigan,’ she tweeted after the president’s remarks.
In an interview with CNN on Friday, Whitmore said her state’s shipments of personal protective equipment are being ‘canceled’ or ‘delayed.’
‘Well, we’ve entered into a number of contracts, and as we get closer to the date when shipments are supposed to come in, they are getting canceled — getting delayed,’ Whitmer told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
She said Michigan was notified that shipments of protective equipment such as face masks are going ‘first to the federal government’ ahead of the states.
Whitmer endorsed Joe Biden for president earlier this month and has made the short list of those he is considering running with should he earn the Democratic nomination.
But the president defended the work of his coronavirus task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, as working ’24 hours a day’ to help ease the pandemic.
‘Mike Pence, I don’t think he sleeps anymore. These are people that should be appreciated,’ the president complained on Friday.
He admitted his vice president will call the governors even when he won’t.
‘He calls all the governors. I tell him, I mean, I’m a different type of person. I say Mike, don’t call the governor of Washington. You are wasting your time with him. Don’t call the woman in Michigan, it doesn’t make any difference what happens,’ he said.
He trashed Inslee as a ‘failed presidential candidate’ and Whitmer as not having any ‘idea what’s going on.’
Inslee ran for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination to bring attention to global warming but his campaign failed to gain traction.
‘I think we have done a great job in the state of Washington. I think the governor is a failed presidential candidate as you know. He leveled out at zero in the polls. He is constantly tripping and I guess complaining would be a nice way of saying it. We are building hospitals. We have done a great job for the state of Washington,’ Trump said.
And he went on to complain of Whitmer that ‘she has no idea what’s going on and all she does is say oh, it’s the federal government’s fault. And we have taken such great care of Michigan.’
Trump on Friday signed an order to compel General Motors to prioritize the production of ventilators under the Defense Production Act hour after he took issue with idea that states would need an influx of the machines.
The president has been pushing the blame for the virus toward state and local officials, lashing out at those who are critical of his administration.
Governors, in return, had pushed the president to use the DPA to get them the supplies they need.
Whitmer has been particularly focal about the administration’s lack of response on supplies.
‘It’s very distressing,’ she told radio station WWJ in her state. ‘I observed early on, like a lot of governors on both sides of the aisle, that the federal preparation was concerning. That apparently struck a nerve, and I’ve been uniquely singled out despite my voice not being the only one that observed that,’ she said.
‘I don’t go into personal attacks. I don’t have time for that,’ she said. ‘I need partnership out of the federal government. We have to be all hands on deck here.’
Inslee and Trump reportedly had it out on a phone call the White House held with governors on Thursday.
The Washington state governor told Trump: ‘I don’t want you to be the backup quarterback, we need you to be Tom Brady here,’ the Associated Press reported.
The wire service also reported the president has kept a close eye on the coronavirus media coverage and noted which local officials were praising or criticizing him, citing three aides to the president.
It’s understood that governors who say nice things about the federal response are more likely to be spared public criticism from the White House or threats of withheld assistance, the aides told the AP.
A Coronavirus patient on a ventilator is transferred from Elmhurst General Hospital to another hospital with more room as this hospital in New York
Health care officials watch as a vehicle approaches a testing site at the Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit
A delivery driver leaves a Domino’s Pizza restaurant in downtown Seattle on a bike after all restaurants were ordered closed
President Trump admitted Vice President Mike Pence will call the governors
Trump has praised California Governor Gavin Newsom, who has complemented the president on his handling of the outbreak
Trump has praised California Governor Gavin Newsom, who has complemented the president on his handling of the outbreak.
‘By the way Gavin Newsom has been terrific. I have to tell you the governor of California. We are getting along really well. We are working hard for him. As you know the hospital ship, the other hospital ship and they are incredible. Just arrived in Los Angeles fully stocked. But, Gavin Newsom has been really good and so many of the governors have been good,’ Trump said on Friday.
He added: ‘I appreciate his nice words. I really do.’
In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity Thursday night, Trump also bashed Inslee and Whitmer.
‘The first line of attack is supposed to be the hospitals and the local government and the states — the states themselves,’ Trump said.
‘We have people like Governor Inslee, he should be doing more. He shouldn’t be relying on the federal government,’ said Trump, before mentioning the governor’s unsuccessful 2020 run.
‘That’s the state of Washington. He was a failed presidential candidate and he is always complaining,’ Trump said.
On a private conference call with all the governors on Thursday, Inslee reportedly implored Trump to use executive authority to ramp up production of necessary medical equipment. But Trump replied that the federal government is merely the ‘backup.’
‘I don’t want you to be the backup quarterback, we need you to be Tom Brady here,’ Inslee reportedly replied, invoking the football star and Trump’s friend in an apparent attempt at flattery.
Trump also slammed Michigan’s Governor Whitmer in the Fox News interview.
‘And the governor of Michigan, she’s not stepping up,’ Trump said. It echoed his prior remarks about Whitmer after she called the federal government’s states-first approach to the pandemic response ‘mind-boggling.’
Trump blasted Washington Governor Jay Inslee (above) saying, ‘He shouldn’t be relying on the federal government…He was a failed presidential candidate and he is always complaining’
Trump also slammed Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer (above), saying ‘I don’t know if she knows what’s going on, but all she does is sit there and blame the federal government. She doesn’t get it done and we send her a lot’
Earlier this week, Whitmer demanded ‘clear directives and guidance from the federal government.’
‘I don’t know if she knows what’s going on, but all she does is sit there and blame the federal government. She doesn’t get it done and we send her a lot. Now she wants a declaration of emergency and have to make a decision on that,’ Trump said.
‘We have had some trouble with the state of Washington and he ran for president, didn’t exactly do well, he got zero and we had a big problem with a woman governor, you know who I’m talking about, from Michigan. Though we can’t — we don’t like to see the complaints,’ he continued.
California’s Gavin Newsom, a Democrat and usually a fierce Trump critic, is among those who have gone out of their way not to lay the federal government’s failings during the coronavirus outbreak at Trump’s feet.
Newsom complimented Trump for ‘his focus on treatments’ for the virus and thanked him for sending masks and gloves to California. He said the president was ‘on top of it’ when it came to improving testing and said Trump was aware ‘even before I offered my own insight’ of the state’s need for more testing swabs.
Trump approved California’s request for a statewide disaster declaration within hours of Newsom asking on Sunday.