US President Donald Trump abruptly ending a Covid-19 press conference after tense exchanges with journalists provided fuel for supporters and critics alike, with his lawyer firing strong verbal barbs at a critical CNN host.
One of Trump’s most vocal supporters following his contentious Monday press conference has been Jenna Ellis, the president’s senior legal adviser. Liberal critics have meanwhile gone after Trump for his treatment of the press, with some even screaming racism over an exchange with CBS News’ Weijia Jiang.
After Jiang asked what is the importance of saying the US is first in Covid-19 testing as it may turn the pandemic into a global competition, the president shot back, “That’s a question you should ask China.”
Why is this a global competition [on testing] to you if everyday Americans are still losing their lives?”That’s a question you should ask China.””Sir, why are you saying that to me specifically?””I’m not saying it specifically to anybody.” pic.twitter.com/DO5EipRrBi
Jiang, an Asian-American reporter, clearly found offense in the question – despite it being one the president has thrown out multiple times in the past – and asked why she was told that specifically. Trump walked away from the presser not long after.
Responding to one critic accusing the president of racism, Ellis tweeted, “This is coronavirus press conference number, what, probably somewhere in the 50s? POC [persons of color] liberal women have been present at every one of them and asked stupid questions. Sometimes for HOURS.”
This is coronavirus press conference number, what, probably somewhere in the 50s? POC liberal women have been present at every one of them and asked stupid questions. Sometimes for HOURS. This is the first time he’s just walked off. Finally.You know nothing. Stop gaslighting. https://t.co/R9CrKIqeXC
In his own tweets about the press conference, CNN host Brian Stelter said Trump was “rattled” by the questions he received, using Ellis’ tweet as an example of this.
One of Trump’s top 2020 surrogates says, re: the WH’s Covid-19 pressers, “POC liberal women have been present at every one of them and asked stupid questions. Sometimes for HOURS.” pic.twitter.com/3BeAcGdtFk
Stelter’s tweet, however, didn’t include Ellis’ full quote and his attached screengrab of it cut off the last line, something that in turn seriously irritated the lawyer. She responded by branding the host one of the “most dishonest propagandists in the media.”
Meet the Press crops a video, gets caught, apologizes.Normal people: Yeah that’s bad. Journalists shouldn’t crop things out of context.@brianstelter: pic.twitter.com/DtlXVEjsWi
Trump later responded to the outrage by tweeting that the mainstream media is “conspiring” against him, as well as saying“Chinese Americans” are “the most angry of all” at China – which the president has repeatedly blamed for the pandemic – over Covid-19.
“Asian Americans are VERY angry at what China has done to our Country, and the World. Chinese Americans are the most angry of all. I don’t blame them!” he tweeted. The president has already come under fire for dubbing Covid-19 the “Chinese virus” in his briefings on the outbreak.
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