The president hastily concluded and departed his coronavirus press conference following altercations with two female reporters, CBS’s Weijia Jiang and CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. Jiang, who is Asian American, had asked why Trump chooses to praise the U.S. response to the pandemic and treat it as though it were a “global competition” when so many Americans are still dying and falling ill.
“Well, they’re losing their lives everywhere in the world. And maybe that’s a question you should ask China,” Trump responded. “Don’t ask me. Ask China that question, OK?”
When Jiang asked, “Sir, why are you saying that to me specifically?” Trump declared her question “nasty” and cut her off. Collins, whom Trump had called on next, approached the microphone as Jiang tried to repeat her question, but then the president stopped her from asking her own question and called on someone else. When Collins pressed him to be allowed her turn, the president ended the briefing and left.
Earlier in the briefing, when a reporter asked him to name the crime he was accusing former President Barack Obama of in a tweet on Sunday, Trump failed to name a crime but instead riffed that “the crime is very obvious to everybody.”
And before the briefing began, the misleading, laudatory banners hanging in the Rose Garden declaring that “America leads the world in testing” faced criticism.
The hashtag TrumpMeltdown skyrocketed up Twitter’s trending topics following the briefing’s contentious finale.
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