Skip to main content

Nessel, Trump feud on Twitter after he failed to wear mask at Ford


Beth LeBlanc   | The Detroit News

President Donald Trump targeted Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Twitter Thursday night for her insistence that he wear a mask during a tour of Ford's Rawsonville plant and her comments regarding Ford's failure to make him wear one.

"Do nothing A.G. of the Great State of Michigan, Dana Nessel, should not be taking her anger and stupidity out on Ford Motor - they might get upset with you and leave the state, like so many other companies have - until I came along and brought business back to Michigan. JOBS!" Trump said in a tweet shortly after 11 p.m. Thursday. 

Nessel fired back that she was impressed he knew her name after earlier criticisms from the president mentioned Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson only by title.

"Seems like you have a problem with all 3 women who run MI-as well as your ability to tell the truth. The auto industry has been thriving for years bc of our incredible auto workers & companies. #UnionStrong," Nessel wrote

"Also, hard to say I've "done nothing" as AG with all the lawsuits myself and the other @DemocraticAGs have filed and won against you," she added.

The criticism of the Plymouth Democrat comes a few days after the president leveled his social media scorn at Benson and amid weeks of tension between Trump and Whitmer. 

Nessel on Wednesday sent an open letter to the president noting that his Thursday tour of the Ford plant violated the governor's executive order banning factory tours in the midst of the pandemic. 

She said her department wouldn't take action on that count. But she insisted the president had "not only a legal responsibility, but also a social and moral responsibility" to wear a facial mask during the tour. 

Trump did not wear a mask during the public portion of Thursday's tour of Ford's Rawsonville plant, but Ford officials said he did wear one during a private viewing of three Ford GTs.

Trump's criticism of Nessel late Thursday night appeared to come after the attorney general spoke with CNN's Wolf Blitzer and said Trump was not welcome back to Michigan because of his refusal to wear a mask. 

"That's right, that's exactly right," Nessel said. "Today's events were extremely disappointing and yet totally predictable."

She said the state would have to have a "serious conversation" with Ford because the plant allowed the president in without a mask.

The president is like "a petulant child who refuses to follow the rules," Nessel said. 

"This is not a joke and he's conveying the worst possible message to people who cannot afford to be on the receiving end of terrible misinformation," she said. 

eleblanc@detroitnews.com