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Nessel responds to Trump criticism: 'You're not our type'

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel fired back at criticism from President Donald Trump Sunday morning, telling the Republican to "stop obsessing about those women from Michigan."

The exchange started just after midnight when Trump tweeted that Nessel, a Democrat, should be "sanctioned" for stating that she would seek penalties for lawyers who filed suits against the state's election results with claims that featured "intentional misrepresentations."

"These lawyers are true patriots who are fighting for the truth and, obviously, getting very close. AG should be sanctioned. Fight on!" Trump posted at 12:28 a.m. Sunday, sharing an article from the conservative news outlet Breitbart.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel

Nessel, Michigan's top law enforcement official, responded by tweeting that "a patriot is a person who vigorously defends their country against its enemies and detractors."

"History will reveal which you were. I wish you loved your country half as much as you love yourself," Nessel said. "Also, time to stop obsessing about those women from Michigan. You’re not our type."

Her tweet referenced the president's frequent criticism of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. In March, Trump said, at a news conference, that he had told Vice President Mike Pence "don't call the woman in Michigan," which supporters of Whitmer turned into a slogan.

Trump lost Michigan to President-elect Joe Biden 51%-48%, by 154,000 votes on Nov. 3. Since then, he and his supporters have been pushing to discredit the election's results with unproven claims of widespread fraud. Their efforts have included a series of lawsuits.

Last week, Nessel said she planned to eventually seek sanctions against attorneys who brought election-related cases that featured clearly inaccurate statements.

"I think we need to go back to a time where you can trust an attorney is making an accurate and truthful representation to the court because if they don't, then they won't be able to practice law anymore," Nessel said. 

She also plans to pursue court costs and fees and to file complaints with the attorney grievance commission, she told reporters Tuesday.

cmauger@detroitnews.com

Staff Writer Beth LeBlanc contributed.