- Donald Trump demanded that governors show deference to the administration during the coronavirus crisis, saying, “I want them to be appreciative.”
- Trump has sparred with a handful of Democratic governors who are asking for aid and medical equipment to help combat their coronavirus outbreaks, including Jay Inslee of Washington and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. On Friday, he called Whitmer “the woman from Michigan” and said “she has no idea what’s going on.”
- Trump implied that he believed Vice President Mike Pence shouldn’t call them if they did not show the proper appreciation. “You know what I say? If they don’t treat you right, I don’t call,” Trump said, adding that Pence is “a different type of person. He’ll call quietly anyway.”
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President Donald Trump once again demanded deferential treatment from America’s governors, telling reporters at a White House briefing on Friday, “I want them to be appreciative.”
He also implied that Vice President Mike Pence shouldn’t take calls from state executives that “don’t treat you right.”
Trump has clashed with multiple Democratic governors who have demanded federal aid and medical equipment to help combat the coronavirus.
Trump said Friday he also wanted to see the governors voicing appreciation to Vice President Mike Pence, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“I mean, Mike Pence, I don’t think he sleeps anymore,” Trump said. “These are people that should be appreciated. He calls all the governors.”
Trump continued: “You know what I say? If they don’t treat you right, I don’t call,” Trump said, adding that Pence is “a different type of person. He’ll call quietly anyway okay. But he’s done a great job. He should be appreciated for the job he’s done.”
Trump signed Congress’ $2 trillion relief bill shortly before the White House task force briefing began on Friday.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly demanded more ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE). Cuomo has said the state needs at least 30,000 ventilators to handle COVID-19 cases at their peak, a demand that Trump initially chafed at but at Friday’s briefing said he is willing to meet.
Trump has also traded barbs with Democratic Govs. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Jay Inslee of Washington state.
“I want them to be appreciative,” Trump said on Friday. “I don’t want them to say things that aren’t true. I want them to be appreciative. We’ve done a great job.”
At Friday’s briefing, Trump specifically called out Inslee, whom he referred to as a “failed presidential candidate,” and Whitmer, whom he said “has no idea what’s going on.”
Trump also referred to Whitmer simply as “the woman in Michigan.”
“I say, ‘Mike, don’t call the governor of Washington, you’re wasting your time with him.’ ‘Don’t call the woman in Michigan,’ it doesn’t make any difference what happens,” Trump said.
Trump and Whitmer have traded barbs in recent days, as the Detroit area has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases. On Thursday, Trump told Fox News he had a “big problem with the young, a woman governor” from Michigan and said “she’s not stepping up.”
Whitmer hit back in a tweet Thursday night, introducing herself by name.
“I’ve asked repeatedly and respectfully for help,” she tweeted. “We need it. No more political attacks, just PPEs, ventilators, N95 masks, test kits. You said you stand with Michigan — prove it.”
—Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) March 27, 2020
Friday’s briefing was not the first time Trump has implied that his administration’s response to their state was conditional on their treatment of the president and administration.
“It’s a two-way street,” Trump told Fox News on Tuesday of his conversations with governors about aid. “They have to treat us well also. They can’t say, ‘Oh gee, we should get this, we should get that.’ We’re doing a great job.”