Trump speaks with Minnesota governor after backing protesters

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid MORE said Monday that he received a “very nice” phone call from Minnesota’s Democratic governor, Tim WalzTim WalzGOP Senate candidate says Trump, Republicans will surprise in Minnesota Presidential race tightens in Minnesota as Trump plows resources into state National Guard activated in Minneapolis after homicide suspect's reported suicide MORE, and that the federal government was working closely with the state to meet its coronavirus needs.

“Received a very nice call from @GovTimWalz of Minnesota. We are working closely on getting him all he needs, and fast. Good things happening!” Trump tweeted Monday morning.


The call came days after Trump expressed support for protests against coronavirus restrictions in Minnesota, Virginia and Michigan. Trump tweeted “LIBERATE MINNESOTA” on Friday, as a protest group by the same name organized demonstrations to demand that Walz ease back on a stay-at-home order meant to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Demonstrators organized in front of the governor’s residence last week to protest the stay-at-home order. Walz said Friday that he didn’t want to read into the meaning of Trump's tweet and that he tried to call the president to ask about it but didn’t immediately reach him. Similar protests have popped up in other states across the country in recent days.

A representative for Walz’s office did not immediately return a request for information about the call on Monday.


Even though Trump's initial statements earned him criticism from governors, the president has defended protesters over the past several days, telling reporters Sunday that he believed some state leaders have “gone too far” with their restrictions.

"Some have gone too far. Some governors have gone too far. Some of the things that happened are maybe not so appropriate," Trump said at a White House briefing. "And I think in the end it’s not going to matter because we're starting to open up our states, and I think they're going to open up very well."

"As far as protesters, you know, I see protesters for all sorts of things," the president continued. "And I’m with everybody. I'm with everybody.”

The White House has been working closely with governors as they combat the virus and consider plans to begin relaxing state and local restrictions so businesses can reopen. The coronavirus restrictions have forced businesses to close and caused massive layoffs, taking a debilitating toll on the U.S. economy.

The White House issued recommendations last week calling for a gradual, multiphase approach to reopening the economy that would involve states and counties meeting a series of criteria before relaxing some restrictions.

Vice President Pence was scheduled to hold a teleconference with governors at Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters on Monday.