President Donald Trump repeatedly badgered and vilified members of the news media during Monday’s White House briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, calling one “horrid” and another a “third-rate reporter.”
McClatchy reporter Francesca Chambers asked Trump a question about the federal government’s new Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses, saying it had gotten off to a “confusing start.”
“I wish you’d ask the question differently,” Trump said, apparently instructing Chambers on how to do her job. “Why don’t you say it’s gotten out to a tremendous start, but there are some little glitches, which by the way, have been worked out? It would be so much nicer if you do that. But you’re just incapable of asking a question in a positive way.”
After repeatedly interrupting the reporter as she tried to clarify her question, Trump said, “I wish we had a fair media in this country, and we really don’t.” The president then moved on to the next question, also from a female reporter, by saying: “Speaking of unfair, go ahead.”
At Monday’s briefing, he pointedly asked reporter Youyou Wang, who is Asian, if she was working for the Chinese government.
“Who are you working for, China? You work for China, or are you with a newspaper?” Trump asked, to which the reporter noted she works for Phoenix TV in Hong Kong.
At another point in the briefing, after Fox News correspondent Kristin Fisher noted that testing has “been a big issue” in the U.S. and asked when hospitals can expect a “quick turnaround”...