Trump urges states to revolt against Democratic governors
The incendiary tweets come one day after Trump assured governors from across the country that the decision to reopen their states amid the pandemic was up to them.
Donald Trump appeared to encourage revolts in a number of Democratic-controlled states on Friday, tweeting for Minnesota, Michigan, and Virginia to be liberated.
“LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” Trump tweeted at 11:21 a.m.
“LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” he tweeted moments later.
Not long after, he tweeted, “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!”
All three states have Democratic governors.
Trump posted the demands moments after Fox News ran a segment on a group in Minnesota protesting social distancing guidelines in front of the governor’s office earlier this week, Media Matters noted. The group leading the protest called itself “Liberate Minnesota.”
On Thursday, Trump praised the groups of protesters who were upset with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders, sympathizing with them because they “seem to be protesters that like me.”
Trump has regularly launched partisan attacks against Democratic governors throughout the coronavirus crisis.
“Failing Michigan Governor must work harder and be much more proactive,” Trump tweeted on March 17 in response to Whitmer telling MSNBC that federal government refused to respond to the crisis with appropriate urgency.
Trump has also repeatedly tried to blame governors he doesn’t like for his own shortfalls on the pandemic.
“Governors are supposed to be doing a lot of this work,” Trump said at a March 19 White House briefing, dismissing state requests for emergency medical supplies. “The federal government is not supposed to be out there buying vast amounts of items and then shipping. You know, we’re not a shipping clerk.”
Trump also shrugged off requests for assistance from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who had requested more ventilators for New York City, one of the country’s hardest-hit regions.
“I think their estimates are high,” Trump said on March 27 of Cuomo’s request for 30,000 ventilators.
Trump’s tweets on Friday came one day after he assured governors they were in total control of reopening the economy for business, amid widespread stay-at-home orders.
“You’re going to call your own shots,” Trump told governors in a phone call Thursday afternoon, according to the Associated Press. “We’re going to be standing alongside of you.”
Trump previously claimed absolute authority to force states to reopen the economy.
“For the purpose of creating conflict and confusion, some in the Fake News Media are saying that it is the Governors decision to open up the states, not that of the President of the United States & the Federal Government. Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect,” Trump tweeted on Monday. “It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons.”
Trump made a similar claim at a press briefing later that day.
“When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total,” he said. “And that’s the way it’s got to be.”
As of Friday morning, more than 667,000 people in the country have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 30,655 people have died.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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