Trump fires back at Michigan AG after she calls him 'petulant child'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick MORE late Thursday fired back at criticism from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D), who called him a “petulant child who refuses to follow the rules” for not wearing a mask during a visit to a Ford plant in the state.

The president responded by suggesting Nessel “was taking out her anger and stupidity” on Ford.

"Do nothing A.G. of the Great State of Michigan, Dana Nessel, should not be taking her anger and stupidity out on Ford Motor — they might get upset with you and leave the state, like so many other companies have — until I came along and brought business back to Michigan. JOBS!” Trump tweeted late Thursday evening. 

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Before the visit, Nessel had encouraged the president to wear the mask, noting it is required in the state by order of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and by Ford company policy. 

Earlier on Thursday, Nessel called the president a "child" and said that wearing a mask in public is "no joke."

“The president is a petulant child who refuses to follow the rules, and I have to say, this is no joke,” Nessel said in an appearance on CNN.

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Nessel responded to Trump's Twitter attacks late Thursday by saying Trump has a problem with the Democratic women that run the state of Michigan.

“Seems like you have a problem with all 3 women who run MI—as well as your ability to tell the truth,” she tweeted. “The auto industry has been thriving for years [because] of our incredible auto workers & companies.”

Ford said in a statement on Thursday that Trump had worn a mask during part of the plant tour but "later removed the mask for the remainder of the visit."

Trump has avoided wearing a mask on camera, even as public health officials in his task force have encouraged Americans to wear them when physical distancing is not possible. 

Democrats, such as Nessel, have criticized him for doing so, saying that he could help normalize the use of wearing protective gear to the public.

“He is portraying the worst possible message to those who can’t afford to be on the receiving end,” Nessel said CNN on Thursday. “It’s very, very concerning.”

Trump’s visit to Michigan comes as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFormer Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick Bloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida MORE, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has taken a commanding lead in the state and nationally in recent polls.

Trump's comments on jobs is a nod to one of his central campaign focuses in 2016, when he became the first Republican presidential candidate to win Michigan since George H.W. Bush in 1988.