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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that the protestors calling to reopen her state while bearing Nazi symbols and Confederate flags are "not representative of who we are in Michigan," denouncing them for celebrating "some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country."

The big picture: The demonstrators largely began last month after President Trump tweeted "Liberate Michigan" and called for Whitmer to loosen the state's stay-at-home order. Last week, armed protestors breached the Michigan Capitol where lawmakers were voting on whether to extend the state's emergency declaration.

  • On Friday, Trump tweeted that these protestors are "very good people" and that Whitmer "should give a little, and put out the fire."
  • The tweet drew comparisons by some Democrats to his comments calling protestors at the deadly 2017 "Unite the Right" rally "very fine people."

What they're saying:

"The Confederate flags, the nooses, the swastikas, the behavior that you've seen in all of the clips is not representative of who we are in Michigan. And the fact of the matter is, we're in a global pandemic. This isn't something we just negotiate ourselves out of as a political matter. This is a public health crisis."
— Gretchen Whitmer

The big picture: Michigan, which has been one of the hotspots for the coronavirus in the U.S., has maintained one of the nation's strictest stay-at-home orders, prompting backlash from those who want to see the economy reopened.

  • "Whether you agree with me or not, I'm working to protect your life if you live in the state of Michigan," Whitmer said.
  • "I'm going to continue to do my job, regardless of what tweets come out or what polls come out. ... We're going to listen to facts and science because we've got to get this right," she added.

Go deeper

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.