President Donald Trump issued orders to America on Friday, calling for citizens to “liberate” three states with Democratic governors.
To Virginians, the president urged, “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!”
LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2020
Trump’s nod to Virginians is likely a response to gun control measures signed into law in the state by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam. While the new law does not ban assault weapons, it does expand background checks and establishes a “red flag” law.
The president also declared, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” — which appears to be a response to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) stay-at-home orders.
Protesters in Michigan descended on the state capitol this week, calling for the governor’s arrest and clogging up the streets of the city. Whitmer said the rally may force her to extend the stay-at-home order.
LIBERATE MICHIGAN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2020
Trump also tweeted “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” — though that appears to be a response to a Fox News segment that aired a few minutes before his tweet.
Media Matters researcher Matthew Gertz, who is known for tacking Trump’s tweets to Fox News segments, first pointed out the “liberate Minnesota” segment. Gertz noted that Trump’s Minnesota tweet was posted two minutes after a Fox News segment on protests in the state.
Minutes after a Fox News segment on a protest against social distancing measures outside the Minnesota governor's office, by conservative "Liberate Minnesota" group, Trump tweets "LIBERATE MINNESOTA!"— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) April 17, 2020
Left, Fox's America's Newsroom, 11:19 a.m.
Right, Trump, 11:21 a.m. pic.twitter.com/RvFV68oOCb
The president’s tweets received some criticism from figures like Washington Post reporter Greg Miller, who noted, “The president appears to be encouraging uprisings (and armed ones at that?) against Dem governors and the measures they have adopted to slow the spread of covid.”
The president appears to be encouraging uprisings (and armed ones at that?) against Dem governors and the measures they have adopted to slow the spread of covid. https://t.co/tbd7lXqkhR— Greg Miller (@gregpmiller) April 17, 2020
When asked on Thursday about the protests against the stay-at-home orders issued, Trump said of the protesters. “I think they listen to me. They seem to be protesters that like me and respect this opinion.”
However, he also said that he agrees with most governors, adding, “And my opinion is the same as just about all of the governors.”