On Sunday evening, Donald Trump Jr. took aim at Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. CNN reported that Whitmer accused President Donald Trump of failing to provide her state with crucial medical supplies amid the coronavirus pandemic. Trump Jr. responded to Whitmer’s comments via Twitter.
“So it appears the governor of Michigan lied about what was actually going on to try to hurt Trump in Michigan. Typical Democrat politics and typical media response… also absolutely disgusting. Don’t they have bigger stuff to worry about?”
Trump Jr. was responding to a tweet by The Daily Caller‘s Greg Price, who claimed that Whitmer lied about Trump allegedly “vindictively targeting” Michigan due to a “political grudge.” This, Price claims, fed a narrative pushed by journalists — a narrative suggesting that Trump is withholding aid from select states due to partisan battles.
Price was referring to Whitmer’s recent comments to Chuck Todd — as reported in a tweet by Washington Examiner‘s chief political correspondent, Byron York — which shot down the idea that she was implying Trump was “punishing Michigan” amid its push for medical items.
Nevertheless, Whitmer said the state is struggling to procure ventilators and N-95 masks, and remarked that many states are forced to bid against one another.
Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union on Sunday, Whitmer brushed off Trump’s attacks on her and said she doesn’t have the energy to “respond to every slight.”
“What I’m trying to do is work well with the federal government. We are all stressed because we have people that are dying right now. I need assistance and I need partnership.”
Trump bashes Gov. Inslee and Gov. Whitmer (whose name he can't remember), then suggests he might not approve a disaster declaration requested by Michigan because Whitmer has complained about the federal response pic.twitter.com/iaencGQUgG
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 27, 2020
Trump has been accused of leveraging aid to states in return for praise. During a press briefing on Friday, Trump said he wanted state governors that are facing a shortage to “be appreciative,” and took particular aim at Whitmer and Washington Governor Jay Inslee.
“All she does is say, ‘Oh, it’s the federal government’s fault,'” Trump said of Whitmer.
In a piece for New York Magazine, Matt Stieb said Trump’s “war” is not against COVID-19, but against governors. According to the publication, after applying for access to the Strategic National Stockpile for emergency supplies, some states with Democratic leaders reportedly did not get the aid they needed. Conversely, Florida, where Trump resides, received its request promptly with no shortages. The state is notably headed by Ron DeSantis, who is an outspoken Trump ally.
According to The Intercept, the president is attempting to gain praise from governors — praise that can be used as soundbites in political ads for his reelection campaign.