Michigan governor fires back at Trump, says states won't 'open via Twitter'

Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerOvernight Energy & Environment — 'Forever chemical' suits face time crunch Equilibrium/Sustainability — Mars' South Pole oasis a mirage, study finds GM announces record B investment in electric vehicle plants MORE (D) knocked President TrumpDonald TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE on Tuesday after he claimed on Twitter the day before that he had the authority to “open up the states” once the coronavirus outbreak begins to wane. 

Pressed about the president’s comments in an interview with NPR’s "All Things Considered" on Tuesday, Whitmer said that “the government's not going to be open via Twitter.”

“We're going to have to make decisions based on the best science, the best medical advice and what's in the best public health of the people of our individual states,” she said. “We've had to act unilaterally at the state level, and we're probably the best ones to be able to make a decision when it's time to safely reengage our economies."


“And I'm hopeful that my colleagues are listening to the best medical minds they have in their states, and we're all thinking about doing it in the safest, smartest way,” Whitmer added.

Her comments came in response to remarks Trump made on Twitter on Monday, in which he asserted that it is up to the president, not governors, to decide when to ease restrictions that governors themselves have issued to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. 

“For the purpose of creating conflict and confusion, some in the Fake News Media are saying that it is the Governors decision to open up the states, not that of the President of the United States & the Federal Government. Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect,” Trump tweeted early Monday. 

“It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons,” he continued. “With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue. A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!”

Legal experts say the president does not have the authority to overrule governors by reversing public health restrictions that have been ordered at the state level.


Elie Honig, a legal analyst and former federal prosecutor in New York, told The Hill on Monday that Trump “can issue reasonable necessary federal-level quarantine orders.” However, she added that she doesn’t “see any mechanism or constitutional principle that would apply here that would allow the president to come in and overrule the governors.”

The president’s claim was also met with pushback from New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoJudge strikes down New York's indoor mask mandate Hochul raises .6 million since launching gubernatorial campaign Former aide says she felt 'abandoned' by Democrats who advanced Garcetti nomination as ambassador to India MORE (D) earlier on Tuesday

When discussing Trump’s comments during an appearance on the “Today” show, Cuomo said the “president doesn't have total authority,” while pointing to the 10th Amendment, which states that “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

“The Constitution is there, the 10th Amendment is there, number of cases over the years, it's very clear. States have power by the 10th Amendment, and the president is just wrong on that point,” Cuomo said.