Responding to the controversy on Twitter on Thursday night, Trump called Nessel a "Wacky Do Nothing Attorney General" who "viciously threatening Ford Motor Company for the fact that I inspected a Ventilator plant without a mask."
"Not their fault, & I did put on a mask," he wrote. "No wonder many auto companies left Michigan, until I came along!"
Nessel tweeted in turn that she was "impressed you know my name."
"Seems like you have a problem with all 3 women who run MI-as well as your ability to tell the truth," she wrote back to Trump. "The auto industry has been thriving for years bc of our incredible auto workers & companies."
Trump has repeatedly criticized Michigan's leading officials, who are Democrats, adding a layer of partisanship to his repeated choice not to wear masks in public, against the advice of health officials.
(Vice President Mike Pence similarly declined to wear a mask to a Mayo Clinic in Minnesota but acknowledged he should have after widespread backlash, and he has been seen with a mask on subsequent trips.)
According to data compiled by The New York Times, Michigan had 53,468 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 5,129 deaths as of Friday morning.
Earlier this month, Trump made a visit to a facility in Arizona that was working to manufacture masks, but he did not wear a face covering. He did wear protective goggles during that trip, though, as he did again during his factory tour on Thursday.
In April, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially recommended that people wear masks to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, Trump said in a press conference at the time that he still wouldn't wear one in public despite the guidelines.
A week later, First Lady Melania Trump appeared in a series of PSAs in which she stressed the importance of wearing protective masks in public and to continue to social distance.
The president has repeatedly noted he is tested often for the virus and is negative.
Asked by reporters Thursday about why Trump wasn't wearing a mask, a Ford official said, "It's his choice."
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