It looks like the end of a nice friendship.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, and a close ally of President Donald Trump found himself in the president’s Twitter crosshairs during the 2020 election on Monday when he signed the state’s election certificate. Trump tweeted that Ducey “betrayed” the Arizona people by not substantiating the president’s false claim that he had actually won the state he lost by more than 10,000 votes.
A video of Ducey signing the certificate shows his phone ringing to the tune of “Hail to the Chief” during the ceremony – the ringtone he says he uses to make sure he doesn’t miss calls from the White House. Ducey silenced the call.
Monday’s round trip seemed to break the close connection between Trump and Ducey, who regularly praise each other’s leadership, especially during the coronavirus epidemic that is destroying Arizona and much of the country.
Their relationship began frostily: Ducey, who was first elected governor in 2014, remained largely on the sidelines during the 2016 GOP pre-election and appeared in public only alongside Trump after securing the Republican nomination.
The couple seemed to get closer and closer after Trump approved Ducey’s re-election offer in 2018 and praised him for doing a “great job”.
“Doug is strong on crime, the border and our second amendment. He loves our military and veterinarians. I get my full and complete support,” Trump tweeted.
Ducey issued a statement saying he was “very grateful for the support.”
Trump, who famously quarreled with late Arizona senator John McCain, invited Ducey to the White House in 2019 and sat next to him in a discussion with seven other governors. He highlighted Ducey for “doing a fantastic job in a fabulous condition.”
The governor repaid the favor by attending several presidential protests in Arizona and taking steps at Trump’s urging to ease coronavir restrictions, even as Covid-19 struck the state earlier this year.
In June, when Trump was holding a crowded demonstration in a Phoenix mega-temple, with a largely undiscovered crowd, Ducey was there wearing a mask.
“In my opinion, this will be the most corrupt election in the history of our country,” Trump said, complaining about the postal vote. – And we can’t let that happen.
Ducey also publicly supported the event, which health experts feared would be overspread.
“In terms of people’s rights to peaceful assembly, those rights will not be violated,” Ducey said in a news conference in advance. “It’s a presidential year, and those rights won’t be violated.”
The governor also praised Trump’s response to the state’s Covid-19 needs.
“I’m in touch with the president, and when I need to go to Arizona, I’ll talk to him directly,” he said in July, noting that “he had to change the ringtone that says,“ Greetings to the boss, ”because … I didn’t want to miss the White House another call. “
In August, Trump again invited Ducey to the White House to welcome the fight against the Arizona virus.
Ducey showed up back-to-back nights at his state’s Trump rallies in October and told the crowd, “Donald Trump wins the state of Arizona! Donald Trump is sent back to the White House! “
But since voting began on Nov. 3, that’s not true, and NBC News projected Biden a winner a few days later.
The Trump campaign and Republican allies filed two lawsuits against some of the results, but both were rejected. Ducey defended the state’s electoral processes, but managed to overcome the anger that Georgian Governor Brian Kemp – another former Trump ally who oversees a state won by Biden – received. Trump blew up Kemp as a “disaster” over the weekend because he “did nothing” to overthrow Georgia’s election results.
But on Monday, Trump turned his attention to Ducey. The governor appeared to have called the White House during the signing of the election certificate before sending it to voicemail and continuing the ceremony.
Soon the angry Trump tweets and retweets came.
“What’s going on @dougducey? Republicans will remember for a long time! “- He told in a tweet. He also retweeted a person who wrote, “Who needs Democrats when there are Republicans like Brian Kemp and Doug Ducey?”
Trump also initiated a discussion with his campaign lawyers with Arizona lawmakers, where they claimed the election was rigged and used some of his time to unravel the governor. “Arizona won’t forget what Ducey did,” Trump said.
Unlike many Republican officials who fear Trump’s anger and refuse to contradict the president’s misinformation, Ducey has long defended himself and the state’s election process. Twitter thread Monday night.
“I spoke quite openly about Arizona’s electoral system and boasted quite a bit about it, including the Oval Office. And with good reason,” Ducey wrote.
He noted that state laws called for him to certify the results on Monday, and he did so. “This is the law. I have taken an oath to abide by it and to take my responsibilities seriously,” he concluded.
The thread did not impress Arizona GOP President Kelli Ward, the president’s convincing support. SHE tweeted back, “# AlectionIntegrity is missing in Arizona. Period “and advised him to” #STHU “- Internet slang for” shut up the hell. ” “
Nor did he dampen Trump’s rejection. On Tuesday he is retweeted a Twitter user who wrote, “Why is Doug Ducey still pretending to be a member of the Republican Party after just verifying the fraudulent results in Arizona that have made him independent of the deprivation of rights of millions of Republicans?”
More than 1.6 million people voted for Trump in the state.