Conway blames governors for reopening early after Trump said it was a 'decision by me'

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Donald Trump claimed reopening was his decision to make back in April.

White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway claimed on Wednesday that states reopened "a little too quickly."

Conway also defended Trump, saying it was a "false rumor" that he said he would be "in charge of" reopening the states.

But that is almost exactly what Trump said in April as he pushed reopening.

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"For the purpose of creating conflict and confusion, some in the Fake News Media are saying that it is the Governors decision to open up the states, not that of the President of the United States & the Federal Government," Trump tweeted on April 13. "This is incorrect. It is the decision of the President."

Trump said he would announce a "decision by me" on reopening that would be made "in conjunction with the Governors and input from others."

Earlier that month, Trump announced the formation of an "Opening Our Country Council" as part of his push to reopen the economy by May 1.

Trump repeatedly asserted that America "wasn't built to be shut down."

"I want to get it open as soon as possible," he told reporters.

From a July 22 press briefing:

KELLYANNE CONWAY: Some of these states blew through our gated criteria, blew through our phases, and they opened up some of the industries a little too quickly, like bars. And I'm personally a loud voice in those task force meetings to say, "Look, are we going to open bars now or schools in two or four or six or eight months?"

 

And I think as a nation, we probably want to open both, but as a nation there are many people who just need the certainty of are their kids going back to school full time, are they learning from home, etc.?

 

So, remember the governors wanted complete latitude over when they would open their states. They pushed back heavily, handsomely — Republicans and Democrats — when it was falsely rumored that the president was going to be in charge of opening the states.

 

He's a federalist, he believes in states' rights.

 

REPORTER: He encouraged them to open.

 

CONWAY: Well, but not everybody has. And remember, he pushed back on the governor of Georgia, a Republican, who he frankly helped get elected. He pushed back on him early, and some people didn't like that, but he did that, because he said publicly, to all of you, "I think it's just a little too early. Why don't we wait a little bit longer?"

 

So, the president was on the record doing that long before these other states decided when they would open or not. But, I think the president also sees that if he provides information to the public as the president, he's also giving people guideposts as to how to do our part to help flatten that curve.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.