Former President Donald Trump's personal policy toward governors during the COVID-19 pandemic was no secret. He wanted to work with them, he said, as long as they showed him some appreciation. "It's a two-way street, they have to treat us well also," he said during a Fox News interview in March 2020. Now, an anecdote from ABC News' Jonathan Karl's upcoming book Front Row at The Trump Show, sheds even more light on how Trump made crucial, potentially life-or-death decisions based on whether he felt he was getting enough compliments.
Karl reports that upon learning a Navy hospital ship was heading to Seattle last March, Trump decided to redirect it to Los Angeles, solely because he liked the things California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) had been saying about him. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), on the other hand, did not have a big fan in Trump.
"Don't you think we should send it to California?" Trump reportedly asked. "Gavin has been saying the nicest things about me."
Trump reportedly said he considered Inslee a "showboater" and a "real jerk," which apparently meant, in the former president's mind, that Washingtonians were less deserving of extra hospital beds.
“Molly! Get Gavin on the phone!”
As I describe in the new paperback edition of “Front Row at the Trump Show” Trump gets Gavin Newsom on speakerphone and asks him if he should send the ship to Los Angeles, saying, “You’ve been saying the nicest things about me.” https://t.co/nM8MtTJ63E
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) March 16, 2021