Trump News Live: Latest Update as President Threats to Close Congress in Unprecedented Measure

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“Operation Gridlock”: Right-wing protesters demonstrate against Michigan home maintenance measures in KentuckyAs Trump aired grievances on the podium (more on which in a moment), his supporters held protests across the country against ongoing stay at home orders, with armed protesters chanting “Lock her up!” Outside the offices of Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Thousands of protesters in horned cars flocked to Michigan State Capitol on Wednesday, with traffic around Lansing State House trapped for hours by a rally, dubbed “Operation Gridlock” and organized by the Conservative Coalition of Michigan, aligned with the Republicans, to challenge the social life of the Democratic governor – distancing measures, among the strictest in the nation.

Michigan faces one of the fastest growing new coronavirus infection rates in the country, with more than 27,000 confirmed cases and nearly 1,800 deaths from Covid-19.

But a backlash against Whitmer’s directive on staying at home, which she extended last week until the end of April while tightening the terms of the order, has taken on a political connotation.

Whitmer’s detractors, widely viewed as a potential running mate to the presumed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, oppose what they call inconsistencies and undue reach in his response to the public health crisis. Whitmer is also co-chair of the Biden campaign and has already drawn national attention by exchanging blows with Trump over the spread of the coronavirus in his state.

The latest version of its decree prohibits residents from moving between homes or using motor boats, and it prohibits the retail sale of furniture, garden supplies or retail paint while leaving marijuana dispensaries Michigan is one of 42 states where governors have ordered residents to stay indoors, except for necessary outings such as grocery shopping or doctor visits, while closing schools, universities and non-core businesses.

Yesterday’s loud but peaceful noon rally in Lansing drew at least 2,000 vehicles full of protesters, horns and resounding car stereos.

About 100 emerged on foot – some draped in American flags or “Don’t Tread on Me” banners, some wearing red Trump 2020 campaign hats. They converged on the steps of the Capitol and around the grounds, most without face covers and none that meet safe separation guidelines.

The crowd included militia members and individuals carrying assault rifles and other firearms, which reflects Michigan’s “open harbor” gun laws. And there were cries of “locking him up”, a song that became a staple of Trump’s election rallies and originally referring to his 2016 Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Appearing on CNN on Wednesday, Whitmer defended the strict nature of his stay at home orders. “We have to be very aggressive here to save lives,” she said.

Similar protests also took place in cities in Kentucky, North Carolina and Ohio.

This was the scene in Frankfort, Kentucky, where the recently elected governor Andy Bershear received similar treatment:

Meanwhile in Columbus, Ohio, local newspaper photographer Joshua A Bickel The Columbus Dispatch captured this extraordinary photo, which was quickly compared to an online “zombie movie”:

Here is Andrew Buncombe’s report on deeply disturbing scenes.

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