Newsom denies having to directly appeal to Trump for COVID-19 aid

Newsom denies having to directly appeal to Trump for COVID-19 aid
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California's governor directly rejected a report from The New York Times on Monday that claimed that he had been required to personally ask President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE for assistance with his state's coronavirus prevention efforts, as well as publicly thank the president after the fact.

Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomLos Angeles police officers attended party at bar against state order: report California's reported decline in infection rate may not be accurate, official says California: Dual threats of wildfire and COVID-19 underscore need for prevention MORE (D) said Monday that "no one told me" to thank the president in exchange for the delivery of thousands of cotton swabs used for coronavirus testing kits, and added he had no discussion with the president or his aides about aid being contingent on a public statement, according to Politico.

"Not true," he told Politico, when asked about the story. "No one told me that. No one asked me that."

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"I expressed gratitude, but no one told me to express it," he added.

The Times report claimed that Trump and senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the 'Secretary of Failure' Deutsche Bank launches investigation into longtime banker of Trump, Kushner Watchdog group accuses Stephen Miller of violating Hatch Act with Biden comments MORE conveyed the demand to one of the governor's advisers, which the adviser confirmed publicly.

“The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, had to call Donald Trump, and ask him for the swabs," Bob Kocher, an unofficial health care adviser to Newsom, told the Times.

At a press conference following delivery of the swabs, Newsom referred to the aid as a "[p]romise made, promise kept" by the president during an April press conference, a line the Trump campaign highlighted in a video ad depicting the governor.

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"He said 'promises made, promises kept.' He actually said that in a statement today," the president reportedly added the same day during a White House news conference.

Newsom has moved to halt some aspects of California's efforts to reopen nonessential businesses and public spaces in the face of new rising numbers of coronavirus infections in the state, which has reported nearly 400,000 confirmed cases. He has also called on Congress to pass more economic relief in response to the pandemic.

“It’s a social responsibility at a time when states large and small [are] facing unprecedented budgetary stress. It is incumbent upon the federal government to support the states through this difficult time,” he said on CNN's "State of the Union" in May.