For the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Donald Trump held daily press conferences where he did most of the talking. The pressers did not go well. Eventually the President’s handlers told him the briefings were hurting his chances of reelection.
That doesn’t mean, though, the Trump has stopped taking questions from the media about the illness. And they’ve remained controversial. CNN’s Brian Stelter ripped the President for an incident on Monday when he refused a question from an Asian reporter, telling her to “ask China.”
The reporter in question, CBS’ Weijia Jiang, asked, “Why does that matter? Why is this a global competition to you if every day Americans are still losing their lives and we’re still seeing more cases every day?”
“They’re losing their lives everywhere in world,” Trump said. “And maybe that’s a question you should ask China. Don’t ask me. Ask China that question, okay?”
.@weijia: Why is this a global competition to you when Americans are losing their lives every day?
TRUMP: Maybe that's a question you should ask China.
WEIJA: Why are you saying that to me, specifically?
TRUMP: I'm saying it to anybody who would ask a nasty question like that. pic.twitter.com/hokJOXASh8
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 11, 2020
Stelter was asked about the exchange by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. He responded:
“It is racist to look at an Asian-American White House correspondent and say, ‘ask China.’ This isn’t happening in a vacuum. This is part of a pattern of behavior from the president that goes back many years. He doesn’t have the benefit of the doubt that someone might have if for the first time in their life, they made a comment like that to a reporter. But the president has been rattled by Weijia Jiang’s questions in the past. He has treated her and other female reporters differently in the past. And he’s also had this pattern of reacting to minority journalists in a very specific and different way, Wolf.”
Watch a video of Stelter’s comments below:
Trump telling @Weijia to "ask China" fits into a pattern. At the first news conference of his presidency, when @AprilRyan asked him about the Congressional Black Caucus, he said "Do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours?" pic.twitter.com/eMPp61zSbY
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 11, 2020
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.