Attacks from the mainstream media are nothing new for Donald Trump, but during his Monday press conference, things got a little extra heated.
After CBS reporter Weijia Jiang implied that Trump had made a racist comment in an answer to one of her questions, Trump abruptly ended the conference, leaving attendees of the event speechless.
Reporters set the trap
Trump is no stranger to the tricks employed by mainstream media outlets to attempt to trap him, and his patience for their games has long run out.
Jiang began the altercation by asking Trump why he was touting his administration’s testing program. “Why is this a global competition to you if every day Americans are still losing their lives and we’re still seeing more cases every day?” she asked.
“Well, they’re losing their lives everywhere in world. And maybe that’s a question you should ask China. Don’t ask me, ask China that question, okay?” Trump replied. “When you ask them that question, you may get a very unusual answer.”
Trump then called on CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins, who passed her slot back to Jiang for a follow-up question in which she asked why Trump had told her “specifically” to “ask China.”
“I’m not saying it specifically to anybody,” Trump fired back. “I’m saying it to anybody who would ask a nasty question.”
Collins then attempted to jump back in, protesting that “you called on me” when Trump attempted to move past her to the next reporter.
Trump abruptly ended the skirmish by admonishing Collins that she had passed up her opportunity to ask the question in favor of allowing Jiang to ask her follow-up question. “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much,” Trump said and left the podium.
He’s seen enough
Donald Trump has had several run-ins with the press over the course of the coronavirus outbreak. One particularly explosive interaction at a coronavirus task force briefing led to Trump canceling the daily briefings altogether.
Trump has vigorously defended his often-controversial handling of the media, especially during the coronavirus outbreak. When questioned about his attitude during last week’s Fox News virtual town hall, Trump remarked that “I am greeted with a hostile press the likes of which no president has ever seen.”
“They come at you with the most horrible horrendous biased questions,” Trump continued. “You see it. 94 to 95 percent of the press is hostile, and yet… we have tremendous support… but the media might as well be in the Democrat party.”