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California Gov. Gavin Newsom commended President Trump for his tentativeness to the Golden State’s needs amid the coronavirus outbreak, saying he’d be “lying” if he said otherwise.
During an interview on Wednesday, Newsom was pressed by CNN anchor Jake Tapper about whether the governor’s public praise for Trump was all in order to prevent him from “punishing” his state.
“I’ve talked to officials around the country who have said that they have to temper their remarks in what they say about the federal government’s response for fear that President Trump will punish the citizens of their state if he considers them to be a complainer,” Tapper said. “You and President Trump seemed to have been working collaboratively. He praised you yesterday. Do you find yourself, by necessity, tempering what you say in terms of any issue you might have with the federal response?”
Newsom pointed to Trump’s assistance in the wildfires and droughts California has previously faced.
“This is not the time to bicker. I don’t care who’s up and down, whose polls are looking better than someone else’s or who wants to run for president or who doesn’t. When it comes to times of crisis, we need to [rise] above the partisanship and I’ve extended always an open hand, not a closed fist, in those circumstances. And this is no different,” Newsom told Tapper.
“But let me just be candid with you. I’d be lying to you to say that he hasn’t been responsive to our needs. He has,” the governor continued. “And so, as a question, as a sort of an offer of objectivity, I have to acknowledge that publicly.”
Newsom continued: “And the fact is every time I’ve called the president, he’s quickly gotten on the line. […] Those are the facts.”
“We always want more, I can criticize this or that, at the end of the day, we’re just trying to focus on developing a relationship of trust as a matter of course because there [are] just too many Americans, 40 million that live in this state that deserve us to get together and get along,” he added.