Trump calls Dana Nessel the ‘Wacky Do Nothing Attorney General of Michigan’ — here’s how she is responding - MarketWatch
The leaders of this swing state are swinging back at the president.
Trump has been butting heads with Michigan leaders — namely the governor, the secretary of state and the attorney general, who are all female Democrats — which came to a head when the commander-in-chief visited a Detroit-area Ford F, +0.35% plant on Thursday, and only wore a state-mandated face mask for part of the tour.
Attorney General Dana Nessel had written an open letter to the president earlier in the week noting that he had “a legal responsibility” to wear a face covering while visiting the Ypsilanti facility, as the social distancing guidance is not only a Ford company policy, but also a state law. Nessel also called it “a social and moral responsibility” for the POTUS to help prevent spreading the virus in a state that has seen more than 53,000 cases and 5,000 deaths from COVID-19.
Trump did not wear a mask for the photographed portion of the tour because “I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,” he said on Thursday. Ford confirmed that the president had been encouraged by company chairman Bill Ford Jr. to wear a mask for his visit to the plant, and had worn it for a portion of his tour before removing it. Ford’s CEO, Jim Hackett, told reporters that, “It’s up to him” on whether to wear one or not.
Read more: Trump says he wore a mask at Ford plant — but ‘didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it’
Some images of Trump wearing a face mask with the presidential seal on it were leaked to the Detroit Free Press, however, and were being shared on social media by outlets like TMZ on Friday.
In response to Trump’s partial mask compliance, Nessel told CNN that “The president’s like a petulant child who refuses to follow the rules,” and said he is no longer welcome in the state of Michigan.
She also warned that she planned to have a “very serious conversation” with Ford for bending the rules for the president. And this led Trump to come to Ford’s defense on Twitter TWTR, +0.86% late Thursday night, calling out “The Wacky Do Nothing Attorney General of Michigan” for “viciously threatening” the auto maker in a series of tweets.
He also claimed that automobile companies were leaving the state until he “came along,” and suggested that they might do so again if Nessel punishes Ford.
So Nessel then responded to that by remarking that the state’s auto industry has been “thriving” on its own, and suggested that the president really has a problem with Michigan’s three female leaders. This harks back to when he referred to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as “the woman in Michigan” during a Coronavirus Task Force briefing in March, when he asked Vice President Mike Pence not to call governors he said hadn’t been “appreciative” enough of his efforts on coronavirus help.
“Don’t call the woman in Michigan,” he said.
Earlier this week, Trump also threatened to pull federal funding from Michigan and Nevada after erroneously tweeting that they were mailing out absentee ballots, which he said was illegal. He also called out Michigan’s “rogue secretary of state,” who had sent the forms out “without authorization.” In fact, the states had actually sent out absentee ballot applications to registered voters. And Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson tweeted at the president that this is well within her authority, and that “Every Michigan registered voter has a right to vote by mail.”
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak called Trump’s threat “outrageous” over a pair of tweets. The president later corrected his tweet to refer to absentee ballot “applications.”
Read more: Trump threatens Michigan, Nevada over mail-in voting
“Trump is now 3 for 3 at making false accusations about Michigan’s strong female leaders over Twitter,” read a tweet from the Michigan attorney general’s official social media account Friday. “At least he actually managed to remember Dana’s name,” it added, noting Nessel will “continue to stand up to the commander-in-tweet on our behalf.”
Gov. Whitmer also weighed in on the back-and-forth on Friday morning, tweeting her support for Nessel and Benson and saying “how proud I am to serve our state with them.” Read Next Read Next A five-year ban on hunting, breeding, and consuming wild animals will mean peacock and pangolin are no longer available at Wuhan’s wet markets More On MarketWatch