Trumps Tantrums: US President launches into a tirade of attacks at a press reporter over ‘Fake’ Coronavirus News

IN one of the most unchained presidential tantrums ever captured on television, President Trump’s Monday display flouted every notion of calm leadership by the commander in chief in a crisis: “When somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total” – Trump.

The president has frequently vilified and badgered members of the press, often women of colour, in his daily presidential updates on the Covid-19 pandemic.

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 Programme 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 off 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. (Phoenix and its founder have received some criticism for reported ties to the Chinese government, though the company maintains it is independent.)

At another point in the briefing, after Fox News correspondent Kristin Fisher noted that testing has “been a big issue” in the US and asked when hospitals can expect a “quick turnaround” on test results, Trump gave a long sigh and started his response with: “Are you ready? Are you ready?

“Hospitals can do their own testing. States can do their own testing… Do you understand that?” Trump responded. “We’re the federal government. We’re not supposed to stand on street corners doing testing. They go to doctors, they go to hospitals, they go to the state. The state is a more localised form of government. And we have 50 of them,” he said, implying the reporter didn’t know what a state was.

“You should say congratulations, great job, instead of being so horrid in the way you ask a question,” he added.







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Tony Winterburn

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