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.
.@weijia: Why is this a global competition to you when Americans are losing their lives every day?
TRUMP: Maybe that's a question you should ask China.
WEIJA: Why are you saying that to me, specifically?
TRUMP: I'm saying it to anybody who would ask a nasty question like that. pic.twitter.com/hokJOXASh8
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 11, 2020
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.