President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE said Monday that he received a “very nice” phone call from Minnesota’s Democratic governor, Tim WalzTim WalzJudge rejects Minnesota parents' attempt to force statewide school mask mandate Former Minnesota Senate Republican leader announces campaign for governor Minnesota parents sue Gov. Walz over lack of mask mandate in schools 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.
Received a very nice call from @GovTimWalz of Minnesota. We are working closely on getting him all he needs, and fast. Good things happening!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2020
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.