Trump is really losing it

Trump lies shamelessly during his press conferences and also make racist allusions. Reporters have mostly left it to commentators to later deconstruct these statements but by then the damage has been done. But increasingly it looks like reporters at the press conferences are challenging him in real time to explain and back up his statements and he clearly does not like it. A week or so ago Jonathan Karl of ABC News kept asking for examples when Trump made one of his baseless, fact-free, sweeping assertions and Trump of course could offer none and just got peevish. Yesterday, Trump abruptly ended the conference and left when two such pushbacks occurred. Watch.

Here are some reactions to Trump’s boorish behavior.

President Donald Trump on Monday abruptly fled the podium and concluded a coronavirus press conference in the White House Rose Garden after making racist comments to one reporter and refusing to answer another.

Trump told CBS News White House correspondent Weijia Jiang to “ask China” about testing after Jiang asked if a focus on which country was doing more testing was inappropriate at a time when thousands of Americans are dying of the disease.

“Sir, why are you saying that to me, specifically?” replied Jiang, who was born in China but raised in West Virginia “That I should ask China?”

Earlier in the press conference, the president was unable to answer what crimes his predecessor, former President Barack Obama had committed about which Trump tweeted at various points over the 24 hours.

Critics on social media noted the president’s racist comments and thin-skinned approach to the press.

“Unbelievably ugly ending to Trump press conference,” tweeted the Washington Post‘s Greg Miller.

Journalist Mairav Zonszein, while praising Jiang and Collins for standing their ground against the president, wondered if the press conferences were doing more harm than good.

“As I have been arguing profusely, sitting through that is mainstreaming workplace harassment and reporters need to call him out in real time or better yet boycott the theater altogether,” said Zonsein.

Intercept reporter Akela Lacy offered a different take.

“People rag on White House reporters for not covering Trump like they should,” Lacy tweeted, “but he literally storms off when they ask hard questions.”

Let him storm off looking like the brat he is. That is better than allowing him to spout lies unchallenged.

Dan Froomkin comments on Trump’s hypocrisy on testing and on unhinged performance, as does Stephen Colbert.

Seth Meyers points to other signs that Trump is losing it.


  1. johnson catman says

    Trump is really losing it

    I don’t think he ever had “it” to lose.

  2. sonofrojblake says

    It really, REALLY annoys me when something like this happens and one is placed in the invidious position of defending Trump.

    after making racist comments to one reporter

    Bull. Shit.

    Trump has been blaming China for this since about February. Obviously immediately before that he was praising their very brilliant handling of the crisis. While consistency is not his strong point, he has been remarkably consistent in blaming China for this entire thing since then. He’s even consistently referred to it as the “Chinese virus”. It’s, like, his whole THING.

    So it really stinks for an Asian-American reporter to try this disingenuous “why are you saying that to me, specifically?” gotcha-ya-racist bullshit. He’s saying that to you, specifically, because you, specifically, were the one that asked the question, you fucking idiot. To whom do you expect him to address his reply if not the reporter who asked it? Seriously?

    I’m comfortable tagging Trump as a racist person, but apparently that’s not what you’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to point out when people DO or SAY things that are racist. And to me, sorry, the line “Ask China” is absolutely not racist in this context. It’s absolutely consistent with the blame-shifting political line he’s been taking for MONTHS.

    And of course if he had even a scintilla of articulacy or two braincells to rub together he’d have been able to answer along those lines and make a mockery of her attempt to trap him. Instead he picked up her bear trap and dropped it round his own neck.

    I’m reminded of the time just over a decade ago when the BBC, perfectly reasonably, gave Nick Griffin (the then leader of the extreme-right British National Party) a platform on their political discussion programme Question Time. The show was, in every way, a liberal stitch-up of a duly-elected representative of the people… and if Griffin had deserved his position as such a representative, he would have been able, with little effort, to expose the stitch up for what it was. For example: the Conservative Party representative on the panel was Sayeeda Warsi, now Baroness Warsi, an Asian Tory who has never won an elected office in her life. The civilian rep was Bonnie Greer, who didn’t even visit Britain until she was nearly 40. The audience was what you’d expect of a BBC selected audience in London -- extremely diverse in appearance, and therefore extremely unrepresentative of the typical viewer’s experience outside the capital. There were protests outside the BBC against Griffin’s appearance on the programme, but gratifyingly it was, despite the stitch-up, an absolute disaster for him and his grubby band of racists. He lacked even the most basic appearance of preparation, and it represented the absolute high-point for extreme right politics in the UK. From there, their fall was swift and precipitous. Arguably Farage and his ilk stepped into the vacuum, and we all know where that brought us.

    But I digress.

    Trump was incredibly stupid. This is not news. But claiming in your opening line that he made a racist comment to a reporter is counter-productive nonsense. Going purely on that opening line I’d reasonably expect at the very least an offensive racial epithet, perhaps even a harmful and false stereotype. To then read on to find the “racist comment” was “Ask China” just makes me think that either (a) the reporter in question doesn’t know what racism means or (b) they know what racism means but hope I don’t, i.e. they’re treating me, the reader, like an idiot.

    And here’s the thing about treating people like idiots. When you do that, consistently… they vote for people like Trump. I wish the media would just fucking stop doing it. There is plenty of material right there in that press conference to ridicule and pillory the man for. Do that. /rant

  3. John Morales says

    sonofrojblake, good comment, apart from your final claim:

    And here’s the thing about treating people like idiots. When you do that, consistently… they vote for people like Trump.

    Doing that on that basis is being idiotic.

    But, again, your point about the purported racism was worth making.

  4. says

    I’m with Mr. Catman @1 — in order for Trump to “lose it”, he’d have to have “had it” in the first place.
    Huh. Now I’m wondering about the origins of the phrase “lose it”, and what, precisely, it is that one is losing.

  5. sonofrojblake says

    @chigau: I’d say yeah, of course. It’s working (I assume) on the racist assumption “hey, they’re black, you’re black, you must know each other”. The qualitative difference is I can’t see him asking a white man to set up a meeting with the congressional black caucus like that.

    By contrast, I absolutely can see him saying “Ask China” to a white man or indeed any reporter who challenged him like that. Just this once, when he says “I’m saying it to anybody who would ask a nasty question like that” -- I absolutely believe him. Don’t you?

  6. machintelligence says

    Perhaps it is time for the press corps, after Trump has failed to address a question and then blown off the follow up one to simply turn and walk out en masse. Not that it is likely to happen, but the look on his face would be priceless.

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