Trump calls Inslee a ‘snake’ over criticism of coronavirus rhetoric

President Donald Trump on Friday called Washington Gov. Jay Inslee “a snake” for criticizing his administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking in Atlanta at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Trump went off on Inslee for saying that he wanted Trump to stick to the science when discussing the outbreak. Trump has repeatedly tried to downplay the gravity of the outbreak and floated his own hunches on matters of science.

“I told Mike not to be complimentary of that governor because that governor is a snake,” Trump said, referring to Vice President Mike Pence. “So Mike may be happy with him but I’m not, OK?”

Pence is Trump’s appointed head of the administration’s coronavirus efforts and has been reaching out to state and local officials to coordinate containment plans.

Inslee tweeted last month that he had been contacted by Pence but said he wanted the Trump administration to stick to the facts about the outbreak.

“I just received a call from @VP Mike Pence, thanking Washington state for our efforts to combat the coronavirus,” Inslee tweeted. “I told him our work would be more successful if the Trump administration stuck to the science and told the truth.”

Washington state was the location of the first U.S. death from coronavirus, and the number of deaths has since grown in the state.

Trump has repeatedly complained that he isn’t getting enough credit for attempting to prevent the outbreak.

“If we came up with a cure today, and tomorrow everything is gone, and you went up to this governor — who is, you know, not a good governor, by the way — if you went up to this governor, and you said to him, ‘How did Trump do?’ He would say, ‘He did a terrible job.’ It makes no difference,” Trump said Friday.