ABC's Jon Karl Grills Trump: 'Why Did You Lie To The American People?'

The White House correspondent also asked, "Why should [Americans] trust what you have to say now?"

President Donald Trump got testy on Thursday after an ABC News reporter called him out for lying about the threat of the coronavirus.

Trump has been criticized for the way he has handled the COVID-19 pandemic, especially after The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward revealed in his upcoming book, “Rage,” that the president privately admitted that the contagious disease was serious while acknowledging in a videotaped interview that he was intentionally downplaying the escalating danger in his public statements to avoid “a frenzy.”

ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl asked the often fact-challenged president a direct question about the disconnect.

“Why did you lie to the American people? And why should we trust what you have to say now?” Karl asked.

The president immediately tore into Karl.

“That’s a terrible question and the phraseology,” Trump replied. “I didn’t lie. What I said is we have to be calm. We can’t be panicked.”

The president then tried to deflect the question by suggesting the lying is Woodward’s fault:

“These are a series of phone calls, mostly phone calls. Bob Woodward is somebody that I respect just from hearing the name for many, many years. Not knowing too much about his work, not caring about his work. But I thought it would be interesting to talk to him for a period of calls. So we did that. I don’t know if it’s good or bad. I don’t know if the book is good or bad.

“Certainly if he thought that was a bad statement, he would have reported it because he thinks that, you know, you don’t want to have anybody that is going to suffer medically because of some fact. He didn’t report it because he didn’t think it was bad. Nobody thought it was bad.

“Wait a minute. And your question, the way you phrased that is such a disgrace. It’s a disgrace to ABC television network, it’s a disgrace to your employer. And that’s your answer.”

Karl’s question may not have pleased Trump, but many Twitter users said they appreciated it.

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