Fact Squad | Trump gets a lot wrong in Twitter beef with Michigan Gov. Whitmer

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Wednesday to celebrate a recent court ruling invalidating Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's emergency powers, calling it a "BIG win" for the people of Michigan. 

But in the process, Trump made false claims about Whitmer’s emergency orders, calling on her to open schools and churches (they are open) and claiming auto companies are “pouring in and expanding” in Michigan (more true than untrue).

Whitmer, a Democrat, responded by urging Trump to "get to work,” suggesting "millions of hard working Americans are relying on” him for another COVID-19 relief package.

The Claim

The Facts

Whether Friday's state Supreme Court ruling is a "win" for the people of Michigan is in the eye of the beholder, but it was certainly a legal loss for Whitmer, who is a national co-chair of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Trump made two false claims about COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan when he implied churches and schools are closed. 

Churches were never forced to close in Michigan. Even early in the pandemic, when Whitmer locked down most of the state economy and limited crowd sizes, she exempted religious institutions from penalties, effectively allowing them to hold in-person services.

Likewise, Michigan schools are not closed under order from Whitmer. 

The governor closed schools in the spring by prohibiting in-person instruction, but she and the Republican-led Legislature negotiated a restart plan that now allows local school districts the choice of whether to offer in-person instruction. 

As of August, roughly 86 percent of Michigan districts were allowing students to learn in school buildings at least part of the week, a figure that has likely fluctuated some because of outbreak-prompted closures.

As for the claim about auto investments, Trump is mostly correct but also exaggerating. 

Michigan has had two major announcements during his administration: Fiat Chrysler is building its first new plant in Detroit in almost three decades and expanding other facilities, a $4.5 billion investment to create nearly 6,500 jobs. In 2018, Ford Motor Co. announced plans to renovate Michigan Central Depot in Detroit by 2022 and bring 5,000 employees to the city.

As for auto companies pouring in? 

Waymo, the electric car company linked to Google, is building a factory in the Detroit area. And Navya, a French company that builds driverless shuttles, reportedly plans to build a small facility in Saline. 

Still, through February, Michigan had lost 2,000 auto manufacturing jobs since Trump took office in 2017, according to federal data. 

Whitmer’s call to action, meanwhile, seems to suggest that Trump is to blame for stalled negotiations with congressional leadership about a second federal stimulus. 

That is debatable.

The president on Tuesday tweeted that he was suspending stimulus talks until after the election because of disputes with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The California Democrat, he claimed, wants $2.4 trillion in federal spending but the White House would only go to $1.6 trillion. 

Despite walking away from the table, Trump continued to call for congressional action later Tuesday, urging the House and Senate to "IMMEDIATELY APPROVE" a small business loan program extension and funding for struggling airlines.

"If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY," Trump tweeted. "I am ready to sign right now."

House Democrats in May approved a $3 trillion coronavirus spending package despite clear indications the GOP-led Senate would not take it up and instead pursue something smaller. 

Pelosi on Tuesday called Trump's decision to suspend negotiations an "act of desperation" that put “himself first at the expense of the country."

The Conclusion

Don't get your news from Twitter. 

The president, in particular, is quick to fire off tweets without checking facts. His Wednesday tweets blended one fact with a few fictions to exaggerate ongoing COVID-19 restrictions under Whitmer.

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

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Love you, Gretch!
Wed, 10/07/2020 - 1:36pm

Having so much fun! Must be nice for Trump to be on steroids during his presidency. The rest of us are holding our breath waiting for his departure. "You're fired!"

Your're FOC
Wed, 10/07/2020 - 3:21pm

Whitmer is a ass,end of story.P.S. Your article is pure garbage.

Thu, 10/08/2020 - 11:53am

Your're FOC, your comment says more about you than it does about our governor. Quick question to all, how many of you agree with President Trump that Senator Kamala Harris is a "monster"?

middle of the mit
Thu, 10/08/2020 - 12:07am

I know it doesn't have to do with MI right now..........but.............


What is to say couldn't happen here?

Here is where I have real problems with this fact check.

Whitmer’s call to action, meanwhile, seems to suggest that Trump is to blame for stalled negotiations with congressional leadership about a second federal stimulus.

That is debatable.

What is debatable is how you worded this article to make it seem like Dems didn't give up much and publicans actually conceded...........but then walked away from the negotiations? LOL!!!!

I will first...go to the paragraph UNDER DJT's twitter screed!

The dems started with and passed a 3 trillion dollar bill. That was a no go! The pubs countered with around 600 billion. FAct check me!

Then the dems came back with a 2.4 trillion dollars. They caved almost one trillion dollars! The pubs pushed with 1.6 trillion dollars. They caved a trillion dollars.

Now there is 800 billion dollars separating the two. MY bet?

Nancy said " we will give up our 400 billion if you give us 400 billion and we can meet in the middle.

Now you know what compromise means.

Succumb to conservative ideology or get bent.

Sun, 10/11/2020 - 6:23pm


Playbook: “A significant and important chunk of Senate Republicans hate everything about the package that Mnuchin is negotiating with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and, at this juncture, it has absolutely no chance of even getting brought up in that chamber. The voices were loud and angry.”

“President Trump said Republicans ‘want to do it’ — a stimulus — but Pelosi is the obstacle. That’s true only on opposite day.”

Please take note of that last line. That is how you non-partisan. Partisanship is when you defend one party over the other. NON partisan is when you report the truth.

Technically, I am non partisan. How? I am a true republican! But...........I am also a true liberal. How?

“If by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal", then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal!...............And so am I!!

Makes ya kinda wonder exactly WHO it was that fought for freedom from a Divine right of Kings...............or .................why didn't you know already?

I get it, you have to report both sides. I AGREE whole heartedly! But you can not allow both sides to be the truth! Tax cuts create jobs, but wage raises brings inflation..........unless it those at the top who get raises.......and tax cuts..........which brings higher debt.........but those at the bottom get the blame for inflation.....and the debt........and higher prices......in a consumer society......that the poor and increasingly the middle class........ can barely participate in?

I am smelling oil.....burning oil.......on top of water. Why? And why can't anyone else smell it?

Report on that.

middle of the mit
Tue, 10/13/2020 - 9:36pm

This is why.


Listen as CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer "interviews" Nancy Pelosi. He hammers her harder than any guest I have seen. Yet, he never mentions that the Freedom caucus in the Senate...........despises any relief bill..........and it is highly unlikely that it will get past Mitch..........you know.....the third wheel? Why do we always forget about the people who say they are constitutionalists.....but seem to fall short when they can grab power?


You think that is the worst I can come up with that conservatives will do to you once they get control? You don't want to even imagine the things I have heard, or even the things that were done. And NONE of you would want it done to you..

The only law and order these people want? Is Law and Order done their way.

Good luck MI.

Pro life for the Covid resistant!

Remember in November.

middle of the mit
Sun, 10/11/2020 - 6:38pm

Now you know what compromise means.

Succumb to conservative ideology or get bent.

You KNOW that IS TRUE...........don't you?

At least here and now.

How ya doin' Herman Cain?



Don't blame the one that has to fix it.

middle of the mit
Tue, 10/13/2020 - 10:25pm

Is this Bridge........ acknowledging who is going to bring forth the New World Order........ that the cons are pushing for, but yet......they know not what they are doing?

I think so!!

Thu, 10/08/2020 - 12:50am

Trump, did you watch the VP debate? What's with flies and poop?

Sat, 10/10/2020 - 12:34pm

Did you ask the same question when this happened to Hillary?

Thu, 10/08/2020 - 7:08am

While I appreciate and agree with the article summary 'don't get your news from Twitter,' the implication that President Trump's comments are false/exaggerated about schools is misleading. Writing that 86% of schools offer 'some in person' without indicating how many students from the total student population are attending in person school, how frequently, and for how many hours per week provides a distorted description of reality. The truth is that while some districts are offering in person instruction one or two half days a week for a few grade levels; this should certainly not be considered 'open' as the article implies. Talk to the families in Ann Arbor, Lansing, Plymouth, South Lyon, etc about whether schools are open. Governor Whitmer, who believed it essential and within her 'powers' to executive order every last detail of our daily lives for the past 8 months, has been silent in encouraging/requiring schools to legitimately educate the state's students. On this, President Trump is correct.

Thu, 10/08/2020 - 8:13am

"The Conclusion

Don't get your news from Twitter."

And especially don't get your news from Trump who is so bad at spreading misinformation, Twitter has hidden or deleted his tweet on more than one occasion.

Tom Backus
Thu, 10/08/2020 - 11:21am

Trump apparently is also good at spreading coronavirus.

Dennis Again
Thu, 10/08/2020 - 9:37am

Your bias is showing...."A number of Michigan-based churches are suing Governor Gretchen Whitmer for “unlawfully” issuing executive orders to extend the state of emergency, prohibiting individuals from participating in public religious worship amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic."
While you may argue semantics - you have to be biased or ignorant to think church closures were not due to the Governor.

Crazy America
Thu, 10/08/2020 - 12:34pm

Now people are plotting to kidnap the governor???? Never been more ashamed of America.

Fri, 10/09/2020 - 6:17am

Reporting on just the dollar value of stimulus is disingenuous at best. The Bill advanced by Pelosi has more egregious wording in it than just a dollar amount. So much of the money goes to bail out blue states and cities, it changes the voting rules of the entire country, and many other “non starters”.

Please do an analysis of the Bill pelosi wrote to inform voters what trash it is.

Fri, 10/09/2020 - 6:18am

Reporting on just the dollar value of stimulus is disingenuous at best. The Bill advanced by Pelosi has more egregious wording in it than just a dollar amount. So much of the money goes to bail out blue states and cities, it changes the voting rules of the entire country, and many other “non starters”.

Please do an analysis of the Bill pelosi wrote to inform voters what trash it is.

Sat, 10/10/2020 - 12:33pm

He would do his job if Pelosi would do hers and stop trying to sneak in pork funds that have nothing to do with helping COVID situation. These people including Whitmer care more about making our POTUS look bad and getting Harris-Biden into office than they do about the people of this state and country. And THAT my friends is why Trump will win again.

Drew P
Sun, 10/11/2020 - 7:54am

"Fact Squad" you have to find the facts to make an article named Fact Squad. Our church in Beaverton, MI and many around us were closed also. The way the order was worded we never found any exemption for religious institutions, And she never said in plain English on TV or otherwise, you may go to church. It was not that obvious. So by saying Trump was wrong by saying open your churches, is NOT true, contrary to what you think.
Also, I don't see any comment on the rude gesture of Whitmer. "Get to work". If you showed half as much bias here the other way, you might pick up how a demanding comment like that is negative. If you were at work, and someone said to you "Get to work" most people would take some offense to that. But one one wants to say that in the media.