President Donald Trump shut down a journalist’s attempt to embarrass him with a “gotcha” question on Monday.
The president fired back at a CBS reporter who set off a display of activist theater with a “nasty” question at his coronavirus press conference, the Washington Examiner reported, and walked out of the briefing altogether after the journalist, Weijia Jiang, all but accused him of being a racist.
Trump shuts down ‘gotcha’ question
Considering the media’s catastrophic assessment of the coronavirus pandemic, one would think that the press would use their valuable time with the president to ask probing questions about this once-in-a-century crisis. Instead, they welcomed the return of Trump’s increasingly rare press briefings on Monday by acting like petty political activists.
The president didn’t bother getting into a fight when Jiang, in a clear effort to take a cheap shot at the president, asked why he cares so much about comparing America’s testing to that of other countries — all but accusing him of being too focused on his ego to care about Americans who are dying from the virus.
“Why does that matter? Why is this a global competition to you if every day Americans are still losing their lives?” the reporter “asked.”
Trump responded by pivoting to China and its alleged role in covering up the outbreak. “They are losing their lives everywhere in the world,” he said. “And maybe that’s a question you should ask China. Don’t ask me. Ask China that question, OK? When you ask them that question, you might get a very unusual answer.”
Jiang, who was born in China, interpreted Trump’s response as a racist insult directed towards her. “Sir, why are you saying that to me, specifically? That I should ask China.”
Trump walks away from silly fighting
The president didn’t indulge that “gotcha” question, either. “I’m not saying it specifically to anybody,” Trump said. “I’m saying it to anybody that would ask a nasty question like that.”
The president eventually walked out after calling on another reporter, CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, who used her time to advocate for her “colleague” (ally) as the president tried to give the microphone to a third reporter. Pure theater. Watch below:
The Lamestream Media is truly out of control. Look how they work (conspire!) together. They are the Enemy of the People, but don’t worry, we will WIN in November! https://t.co/3YOSChXP9M
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2020
Trump’s abrupt exit was panned on the left as a sign of weakness, since the press apparently thinks that asking questions like, “Mr. President, why are you such an egomaniacal racist?” is newsworthy.
Of course, this comes after Trump started paring back his coronavirus press briefings amid concern that his constant fighting with journalists was hurting him in the polls. It looks like the media — the same media that accused Trump of spreading “propaganda” and bullying reporters for no reason at his briefings — is still raring to push propaganda and instigate needless conflict.
But Trump is adept at dealing with partisan activists masquerading as journalists by now. If reporters want to drag the president into their narcissistic nonsense, then that’s on them. Trump will push back and shut them down. No wonder the media is furious.