Trump Ends Press Conference After Heated Exchange With Reporters
The disastrous press conference included the president telling an Asian-American journalist to "ask China" about her question.
President Trump abruptly ended a Monday press conference, during which he told an Asian-American journalist to "ask China" about her question on coronavirus testing then refused to take questions from another reporter.
During the press conference in the Rose Garden, CBS reporter Weijia Jiang asked Trump why he sees coronavirus testing as a global competition when more than 80,000 Americans have died.
"Maybe that's a question you should ask China," Trump told Jiang, who is Asian American. "Don't ask me. Ask China that question, OK?"
“Sir, why are you saying that to me, specifically?” Jiang asked.
“I’m telling you,” Trump responded, “I’m not saying it specifically to anybody. I’m saying it to anybody who would ask a nasty question like that.”
CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins, who had let Jiang ask Trump follow-up questions, then told Trump she had two questions, which the president refused to let her ask. He then hastily ended the press conference.
Earlier in the chaotic press conference, a Washington Post reporter asked the president to elaborate on a Mother’s Day tweet, in which he accused President Obama of "the biggest political crime in American history, by far.” Trump responded “Uh, Obamagate. It’s been going on for a long time.”
The president did not provide more specific details on Monday, but his tweetstorm on Sunday happened two days after audio was released of Obama responding to the Justice Department’s widely scrutinized recent decision to drop the criminal case against Michael Flynn. Flynn was Trump’s former national security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during the Mueller investigation.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called the conference “pretty pathetic” in a Monday tweet.
Others praised the two women reporters for standing up to Trump.
so @kaitlancollins just made the key point about having paused at today’s press conference to allow @weijia to follow up on her question to President Trump— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) May 12, 2020
Kaitlan said that “should be standard operating procedure” in WH briefings
she is right
proud to be her colleague
Jiang also wrote on Twitter in March that a White House official referred to the coronavirus as the “Kung-Flu” to her face.