President Donald Trump slammed Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in a tweet this morning, calling the armed protesters who stormed the Michigan statehouse yesterday “good people.”
“The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire,” he wrote. “There are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.”
The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire. These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2020
Trump has in the past criticized Whitmer for issuing strict stay-at-home guidelines. Protesters yesterday were barred from getting onto the House floor by state police and sergeants-at-arms. Whitmer had previously extended her state’s stay-at-home order to May 15.
Protest moves inside Michigan Capitol. Crowd attempts to get onto Hoise floor. Lots of Michigan State Police and House sergeants at arms blocking door. pic.twitter.com/4FNQpimP4W
— Rod Meloni (@RodMeloni) April 30, 2020
Last month, Trump made headlines after he tweeted demands that the governors of several states under lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic “liberate” citizens who are protesting against stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines.
In two separate tweets, the president directed messages toward the governors of Minnesota and Michigan.
The tweets came as “Tea party”-style protests erupted around the country in response to stay-at-home orders. The largest of these was in Michigan, where at least 3,000 people protested Whitmer’s (D) extended and expanded stay-at-home order in front of the state Capitol in Lansing.
“I think they’re listening. I think they listen to me,” Trump said in response to questions about the protests. “They seem to be protesters that like me and respect this opinion, and my opinion is the same as just about all of the governors. They all want to open. Nobody wants to stay shut but they want to open safely. So do I.”
Trump has signaled he will not extend social distancing guidelines. Coronavirus deaths in the United States now stand at nearly 64,000, according to the most up-to-date statistics.