Trump quickly reverses course on Kemp's re-open plan in Georgia

Trump was certain that Kemp is "a very capable man" who "knows what he's doing." That is, until the next day, when Trump said largely the opposite.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a news conference in downtown Atlanta on April 1, 2020.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a news conference in downtown Atlanta on April 1, 2020.Alyssa Pointer / Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP file

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced new steps this week to re-open his state's economy, inviting a series of businesses -- including gyms, barber shops, tattoo parlors, movie theaters, and bowling alleys -- to open their doors as early as tomorrow. The state has not yet cleared federal benchmarks, as set by the White House's guidelines, but the Republican governor doesn't appear to care.

On Tuesday afternoon, Donald Trump didn't seem to care, either. While the president didn't explicitly endorse the Georgia timeline, the president told reporters during a White House press briefing that Kemp is "a very capable man" who "knows what he's doing."

Almost exactly 24 hours later, Trump said largely the opposite.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he "strongly disagrees" with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's decision to allow businesses like barbershops and nail salons to reopen, a day after he praised him during the White House briefing.

"I told the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities," Trump said at his daily coronavirus briefing Wednesday. "But at the same time, he must do what he thinks is right. I want him to do what he thinks is right. But I disagree with him on what he's doing."

The president added that it's "just too soon" to implement Kemp's plan.

For those keeping score, Trump is now inclined to attack governors he considers too slow to re-open and attack governors he considers too quick to re-open.

For his part, Kemp is apparently determined to move forward with his dangerous timeline, even if that means defying the public advice of his own party's president, whose political support he's long enjoyed.

But I'm especially interested in what changed for Trump between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon. One day, the president was certain that Kemp is "a very capable man" who "knows what he's doing." The next day, the president is equally certain he "strongly disagrees" with the governor's reckless scheme.

My best guess is someone told Trump the Georgia plan is likely to fail spectacularly -- and he'll share the blame unless he distances himself from the mess Kemp is poised to create.