With some public friction over the federal Coronavirus response, President Donald Trump on Friday again singled out the Governor of Michigan and the Governor of Washington State for criticism, telling reporters that he had discouraged Vice President Mike Pence from calling either one to discuss the virus response.
"When they're not appreciative to me, they're not appreciative to the Army Corps (of Engineers), they're not appreciative to FEMA. It's not right," President Trump said at a Friday White House briefing.
"All I want them to do, very simple, I want them to be appreciative," the President added.
"We've done a great job," the President said. "I think the media and governors should appreciate it."
REPORTER: What more specifically do you want the [governors] to do?— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) March 27, 2020
TRUMP: All I want them to do — very simple — I want them to be appreciative. I don’t want them to say things that aren’t true. … You know what I say? 'If they don't treat you right, I don't call.' pic.twitter.com/vl3GPLw2ra
The President's comments came as he continued to spar long distance with Gov. Jay Inslee (D) of Washington State, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) of Michigan.
Inslee has already been a frequent target of the President - who referred to him in one briefing as a 'snake' - acknowledging that he has urged Vice President Pence not to call the Washington Democrat.
"I say Mike, don't call the Governor of Washington, you're wasting your time with him," Mr. Trump said. "Don't call the woman in Michigan."
In an interview Thursday night with Sean Hannity on Fox News, the President took aim at Whitmer, who has complained of troubles in getting medical supplies for hospitals to combat the virus outbreak.
"We’ve had a big problem with the young, a woman governor, you know who I’m talking about from Michigan," the President said.
Trump says he told Mike Pence not to call the governor of Washington, and "that woman" the governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer. pic.twitter.com/CWV96yuRMA— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) March 27, 2020
"We need help. We need leadership. And we need to put political differences aside and focus on the real enemy, and that's the virus." - Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Pres. Trump criticizing her for asking the federal government for more help fighting the Covid-19 outbreak. pic.twitter.com/GB1g7Ufpoj— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) March 27, 2020
While Gov. Whitmer went on TV to respond to the President, Inslee used Mr. Trump's favored mode of social media.
"I’m not going to let personal attacks from the president distract me from what matters: beating this virus and keeping Washingtonians healthy," Inslee tweeted.
While Inslee avoided barbs from the White House on Friday night, Whitmer did not.
“Governor, Gretchen “Half” Whitmer is way in over her ahead, she doesn’t have a clue,” the President tweeted.
I love Michigan, one of the reasons we are doing such a GREAT job for them during this horrible Pandemic. Yet your Governor, Gretchen “Half” Whitmer is way in over her head, she doesn’t have a clue. Likes blaming everyone for her own ineptitude! #MAGA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2020
Michigan has become a flash point in recent days in the fight to stop the Coronavirus; 32 deaths were announced on Friday, almost as many as the two previous days combined.
28 deaths were announced on Friday in Washington State, raising the death toll there to 175 people, second most of any state.