ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl on Tuesday described President Donald Trump’s attacks on journalists who critically cover his administration as being “among the fakest things right now.”
Karl, in an interview with Mediaite founder and ABC News chief legal analyst Dan Abrams on Abrams’ SiriusXM show, said Trump’s relentless bashing of the media as “fake news” was often “part of the show, part of the game.”
“He praises me to his friends and then he’ll come out right after and blast me in front of the cameras,” said Karl, the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. Karl’s testy exchanges with Trump have become something of a regular feature of the daily coronavirus task force briefings.
Trump last month told Karl not to “be a cutie pie” after the reporter asked a question about the availability of ventilators. Trump on Monday called Karl a “third rate reporter,” telling him “you will never make it.”
To be clear, the very people by name that the president is saying are fake news, are bad for the country, enemies of the people, he is talking to them off the record, giving them information, trying to spin stories, being friendly, and then turning around and claiming that they’re the worst people who ever walked on the earth.
Karl has shrugged off Trump’s public attacks, telling Abrams he thought the president “doesn’t mean it,” recalling how Trump has “lashed out at me in just explosive ways and then turned right around and couldn’t have been nicer.”
“Look, he can insult me all he wants. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter,” Karl said on Monday’s broadcast of “The View.” “What matters is getting to the bottom of what is happening with the federal response and how people should be responding to this crisis. That’s the story.”