Gavin Newsom is opening up about the widespread criticism he faced as a result of his “incredible relationship” with former President Donald Trump during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a preview for Newsom’s upcoming interview with Sean Hannity, which will air on Fox News’ “Hannity” on Monday, the cable news host asked the California governor for his response to Trump’s indictment on Friday, which charged the former President 37 felony counts originating from an investigation into the classified government documents found at his Mar-a-Lago estate and other locations upon leaving office.
“Sad,” Newsom told Hannity. “And I say that as an American.”
Hannity went on to ask Newsom about his relationship with Trump, asking “were you friendly with him?”
“Well, as you know, I didn’t have a closed fist — I had an open hand,” Newsom said in response. “We actually had an incredible relationship during COVID. It was incredible. He would play no politics during COVID with California — played none whatsoever — It’s a fact.”
He continued on by noting that “by the way, I’ve gotten a lot of critique from the left by saying that,” referring to his agreeable relationship with Trump during the pandemic.
Ahead of the interview’s airing, which comes shortly after Newsom proposed a 28th Amendment that would address gun safety, Fox News released an additional clip in which Hannity asks Newsom about his view of President Joe Biden’s 2024 presidential run.
“Do you think he’s cognitively strong enough to be president?” Hannity poses in the clip, to which Newsom responds “yes,” and notes that he has conversations with the President “all the time.”
“I’m dead serious about that — I’ve talked to him when he’s been overseas, I’ve been in Air Force One, Marine One, I’ve been in the limo with him,” Newsom continued. “I’ve spent time with him privately and publicly.”
Despite his answer of good faith, Hannity pressed the California governor on the frequency of which his supporters urge him to join the 2024 race, asking “How many times does your phone ping a day, people saying, ‘You need to get in this race because they agree with me that he’s not up to the job?'”
“I see where you’re going with that, Sean,” Newsom said. “I’m not answering.”