Washington governor: Trump urges ‘insubordination’ and ‘illegal activity’ by supporting protesters
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said Sunday that President Trump is urging “insubordination” and “illegal activity” by supporting demonstrators protesting stay-at-home orders in multiple states.
Inslee on ABC’s “This Week” called the president’s defense of the protesters “dangerous,” saying Trump is supporting “insubordination” against the state laws and both Democratic and Republican governors.
“To have an American president to encourage people to violate the law, I can’t remember any time in my time in America where we have seen such a thing,” the governor said.
“It is dangerous because it can inspire people to ignore things that actually can save their lives,” he added.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee tells @GStephanopoulos by backing stay-at-home order protests, Trump is encouraging “insubordination” and “illegal activity.”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) April 19, 2020
The Washington governor and former Democratic presidential candidate said the situation is “doubly frustrating” to governors “because this is such a schizophrenia” with Trump “basically asking people” to “ignore” infectious disease experts and coronavirus task force members Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci.
He cited the experts’ guidelines when criticizing those advocating for the reopening of the states, saying a decline in infections “simply has not happened yet.”
“We hope that there could be a restoration of leadership in the White House rather than hobbling our national efforts to protect people from this terrible virus,” Inslee said.
The president defended Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia protesters last week at a press briefing, saying some of the stay-at-home orders were “too tough.”
“These are people expressing their views. … They seem to be very responsible people to me,” he said. “But they’ve been treated a little bit rough.”
Hundreds gathered in those states and Ohio during the past week to demonstrate against their stay-at-home orders, sometimes contradicting Trump administration guidelines recommending no gatherings of more than 10 people.
Inslee said on Sunday that his state has experienced “good news” but instead of a downward trend, the number of cases have plateaued. He encouraged people to focus on “what we can do” now rather than on an unknown end date.
Washington state has recorded at least 11,802 cases of coronavirus and 624 deaths, according to the state health department.