Trump told reporters at a White House briefing that he did not have an issue with the protesters who have flouted social distancing guidelines to voice displeasure with the restrictions, which have shut down businesses and caused a rise unemployment.
“Some have gone too far. Some governors have gone too far. Some of the things that happened are maybe not so appropriate,” Trump said. “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,” he added. “And I’m with everybody. I’m with everybody.”
The president at first declined to specify any particular governor he thought had gone too far before knocking Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, suggesting the latter deserved to be protested for signing new gun laws.
“If you take Michigan, there were things in Michigan that I don’t think they were necessary or appropriate. Everyone knows that,” the president said. “I think the governor of Michigan — we’re getting along very well — but I think the governor of Michigan probably knows that.”
Vice President Pence said during Sunday’s briefing that Americans should “heed your state and local authorities.”
The president has made vehement arguments about the need to reopen the economy, which has been a central theme of his re-election campaign. But he insisted on Sunday that the lifting of restrictions would prioritize safety.
“There are a lot of great things happening, and we’re going to start to open our country,” he said. “It’s like a beautiful puzzle.”
The president has been tweeting in support of the lockdown protestors and has made no significant comments about how these protestors are essentially railing against the guidelines recommended by his own administration.