President Donald Trump has been confronted by a hostile media ever since he first announced his candidacy in 2015. But much to the amusement of his supporters, the president has never hesitated to punch right back.
That became evident yet again this week when President Trump shut down a reporter who tried to interrupt him while he was responding to a question about conceding the 2020 race.
According to a report from the Washington Examiner, the tense exchange took place during a Thursday press conference at the White House, where the president sparred with Reuters’ Jeff Mason in a moment that has since gone viral on social media.
“Mr. President, if the Electoral College votes for Joe Biden on Dec. 14, will you concede the election?” Mason asked, according to a White House transcript. The president responded that it would be “a very hard thing to concede, because we know there was massive fraud.”
“This election was a fraud”
It was an answer that apparently didn’t satisfy Mason. In a clip shared by the Examiner, the journalist pressed further: “Sir, just to be clear, if the Electoral College votes for Joe Biden, will you concede?”
Trump responded by declaring that such a vote by the Electoral College would be “a mistake.”
“Well, if they do that, they’ve made a mistake because this election was a fraud. Just so you understand, this election was a fraud,” Trump said, according to the transcript. “I mean,” the president added, “they have Biden beating Obama — Obama’s vote in areas that mattered in terms of the election, in swing states.”
“Don’t talk to me that way”
When the president then attempted to explain a scenario under which he would not concede, Mason interrupted by insisting that he should “just answer the question.” That’s when Trump went in for the kill.
“Don’t talk to me that way,” the president shot back. “You’re just a lightweight… I’m the president of the United States. Don’t ever talk to the president that way.” Take a look at a clip of the incident shared by the Examiner:
“Don’t talk to me that way. You’re just a lightweight. I’m the President of the United States. Don’t ever talk to the president that way.”@realDonaldTrump tears into a reporter who snapped at him to “just answer the question or don’t” before moving on. pic.twitter.com/AMd8GQ7JU1
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 27, 2020
Afterward, Trump turned to another reporter who posed a similar question: “So, if the Electoral College does elect Joe Biden, are you not going to leave this building?”
“Certainly, I will. Certainly, I will. And you know that,” Trump said, according to the White House’s transcript. “But I think that there will be a lot of things happening between now and the 20th of January. A lot of things.” Only time will tell.