President Trump didn’t back away from his tweets to “LIBERATE” protesters defying stay-at-home orders in Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia during Friday’s White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing.
On Friday morning, Trump tweeted “LIBERATE MINNESOTA,” followed by “LIBERATE MICHIGAN,” then “LIBERATE VIRGINIA,” which appeared to be in response to all three states seeing protests against the stay-at-home orders issued by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D), and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) during the COVID-19 crisis.
Trump seemed to double down on his calls during last night’s White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing when asked about how critics such as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said that he was “fomenting rebellion” with his tweets.
“I think we do have a sobering guidance but I think some things are too tough,” Trump said, before slamming Northam for the “horrible thing” he did with the Second Amendment — which is presumably about his recent signing of a bill to expand background checks for firearm sales — and saying that the Virginia governor is “under a cloud to start off with.”
Trump then added that Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia have done “too much” with social distancing before denying that he’s concerned about protestors potentially spreading the coronavirus.
“No, these are people expressing their views,” Trump said. “I see where they are and I see the way they’re working. They seem to be very responsible people to me, but they’ve been treated a little bit rough.”
Watch Trump’s remarks below:
Trump says protesters in Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia have done “too much” with social distancing pic.twitter.com/uSdHpj1ApC
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) April 18, 2020