Trump allies warn against feud with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing in the Rose Garden of the White House, Sunday, March 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s allies are trying to contain a politically risky election year fight with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as he struggles to navigate presidential politics during a global pandemic.

Both sides have tried to de-escalate this week.

Trump’s supporters in particular sought to downplay tensions that ratcheted up after Trump called the Democratic governor “Gretchen ‘Half’ Whitmer” and charged she “doesn’t have a clue” how to handle the health crisis.

Whitmer has criticized the federal response to the pandemic.

The feud comes seven months before voters decide whether to reelect the Republican president.

Michigan has emerged as one of a handful of elite presidential battlegrounds that will control Trump’s fate.

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