News reports percolated last week that formal White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings could go away or see a dramatic overhaul. Instead of showing seriousness and sobriety during this pandemic, camera-hawking, far-left egotists picked fights with President Donald Trump only to cry foul afterward to sympathetic colleagues.
While the media and liberal allies may have hated Trump's frequent jabs at reporters, conservatives found it refreshing that a President would take on the press directly. This was evidenced by an April 9 Gallup poll, which found only 10 percent of conservative and Republican respondents hold a very or somewhat favorable view of the media.
MRC analysts combed through our archives of the briefings to resurrect the most amusing and stinging responses Trump lobbed at the suddenly mealy-mouthed media elites. The video below represents a healthy sampling.
ABC News senior White House correspondent Cecilia Vega was among the first reporters to spar with Trump. On March 18, Vega attempted to shame him for correctly stating that the coronavirus had originated in China (click “expand”):
VEGA: Why do you keep calling this the Chinese virus? There are reports of dozens of incidents of bias against Chinese Americans in this country. Your own aide, Secretary Azar, says he does not use this term, he says ethnicity does not cause this virus. Why do you keep using this?
TRUMP: Because it comes from China.
VEGA: A lot of people say it’s racist.
TRUMP: It’s not racist at all, no. Not at all. It comes from China. That’s why. Comes from China.
On March 25, Trump averred to CBS White House correspondent Paula Reid that the liberal press hoped the sputtering economy would hurt his re-election chances: “There are people in your profession that would like that to happen. I think it’s very clear that there are people in your profession that write fake news. You do.”
Reid’s colleague Weijia Jiang got an earful from Trump during the April 3 installment. When Jiang attempted to nitpick the word choice in a recent quote from Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, the President scolded: “It’s such a basic, simple question, and you try to make it sound so bad. You oughta be ashamed of yourself.”
On April 23, frequent MSNBC contributor and Washington Post reporter Phil Rucker became one of the President’s latest victims. Rucker implied it was reckless to claim that sunlight and heat might help mute the effects of the virus: “Respectfully sir, you’re the President, and people tuning into these briefings, they want to get information and guidance, and want to know what to do. They’re not looking for rumors.”
“Hey, Phil,” Trump snapped at a crestfallen-looking Rucker: “I’m the President, and you’re fake news.”
While the typical establishment politician might bow to the whims of the liberal media in a bid for good press coverage, President Trump has flipped the script in showing he is unwilling to appease the press.