But that wasn’t the only time Trump indicated Friday that he factors personal things that have nothing to do with the coronavirus outbreak into certain decisions. While discussing why he invoked the Defense Production Act on Friday to force General Motors to build ventilators, he acknowledged what has been a long-standing beef with the auto company: the closure of a plant in Lordstown, Ohio.
Remarkably, Trump brought that up even as he was asked specifically why he had singled GM out for this step before any other company. He dismissed the idea that it was about cost and instead cited GM’s decisions on where to house its plants.
“We don’t want to think too much about cost when we’re talking about this. This is not cost,” Trump said. “I wasn’t happy where General Motors built plants in other locations over the years. . . . And so I didn’t go into it with a very favorable view. I was extremely unhappy with Lordstown, Ohio — where they left Lordstown, Ohio, in the middle of an auto boom because we had 17 car companies coming in and then they were leaving one plant in Ohio.”