President Trump on Friday urged Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to “make a deal” with those “angry” protesters demonstrating against her stay-at-home order in the state.
“The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire,” Trump tweeted Friday morning.
“These are very good people, but they are angry,” he said. “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
Whitmer extended the stay-at-home order in her state on Thursday, after hundreds of protesters, some of them heavily armed, demonstrated outside the state Capitol as the Republican-led legislature, meanwhile, debated inside.
A video tweeted by Local 4 Detroit’s Rod Meloni showed the protesters, some armed with guns and donning bulletproof vests, pushing their way into Michigan State House and gathering within its halls as lawmakers debated the stay-at-home extension.
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
Protesters brushed up against capitol police and chanting “let us in” and “tyranny.”
Some state lawmakers were also reportedly wearing bulletproof vests, with State Sen. Dayna Polehanki tweeting a photo of several protesters armed with rifles looking down on lawmakers from the gallery. “I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today,” she wrote.
Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us. Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today. #mileg pic.twitter.com/voOZpPYWOs
— Senator Dayna Polehanki (@SenPolehanki) April 30, 2020
Whitmer’s new executive order extends business closures and declares a state of emergency until May 28.
“COVID-19 is an enemy that has taken the lives of more Michiganders than we lost during the Vietnam War,” Whitmer said in a statement. “While some members of the legislature might believe this crisis is over, common sense and all of the scientific data tells us we’re not out of the woods yet.”
“By refusing to extend the emergency and disaster declaration, Republican lawmakers are putting their heads in the sand and putting more lives and livelihoods at risk. I’m not going to let that happen,” she continued.
Trump earlier this month signaled support for protests against stay-at-home orders in Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia — all of which are led by Democratic governors — and repeatedly defended demonstrators despite criticism.