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Trump responds after Nessel calls him 'petulant child' for not wearing a mask

The president and Michigan's attorney general sparred over face masks.
Credit: AP
President Donald Trump holds his protective face mask as he speaks while touring Ford's Rawsonville Components Plant that has been converted to making personal protection and medical equipment, Thursday, May 21, 2020, in Ypsilanti, Mich. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel are publicly trading words following the president's visit to Michigan on Thursday. 

Trump visited a Ford plant that's making ventilators, and even though Nessel issued a warning that failing to wear a mask could lead to banning him from returning to Michigan, the president did not publicly wear a face covering. 

“I did not want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it," Trump said. He also told reporters that he wore a mask while touring the facility off camera. 

Thursday evening, Nessel said in a CNN interview that wearing a mask is not only Ford's policy but also state law under current executive orders. 

"The president is like a petulant child who refuses to follow the rules, and I have to say this is no joke," Nessel said, noting the death count in the United States and in the metro Detroit region. 

"He is conveying the worst possible message for people who cannot afford to be on the receiving end of terrible misinformation. And it's very, very concerning," Nessel continued. 

The CDC recommends wearing a face covering while in publicly enclosed spaces, but the president has continued to say he chooses not to wear one. 

Prior to the visit, Nessel said if Trump chose not to wear a mask, “he’s going to be asked not to return to any enclosed facilities inside our state" and “we're going to have to take action” against any company that allows it in the future. 

After Nessel issued sharp critiques of the president's visit to Michigan, Trump hit back by tweeting about the attorney general

"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!" he said late Thursday night. 

RELATED: 'Failed Governor': Trump critiques Whitmer's pandemic response

This week, Trump also tweeted about Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, and he previously attacked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on the social media platform. 

The governor tweeted her support of both women Friday morning, "It feels like the perfect moment to remind @dananessel and @JocelynBenson how grateful I am for their dedication and hard work, and how proud I am to serve our state with them. These women from Michigan are the best of the best!"

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