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President Trump had a fiery exchange with CNN’s chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta during the daily coronavirus briefing on Monday.
Acosta made a big splash in the Rose Garden when he attempted to grill the president for his rhetoric on the virus outbreak in the weeks leading up to the national crisis.
“What do you say to Americans who are upset with you over the way you downplayed this crisis?” Acosta asked. He referenced earlier quotes from the president, including when Trump said roughly a month ago, “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”
Acosta added, “What do you say to Americans who believe that you got this wrong?”
The president fired back.
“Well, it will go away and I do want them to stay calm, and we are doing a great job,” Trump responded. “If you look at those individual statements, they’re all true. Stay calm, it will go away — you know that it is going away, and… we’re going to have a great victory. And, it’s people like you and CNN that say things like that — it’s why people just don’t want to listen to CNN anymore. You could ask a normal question.”
The president then defended his rhetoric, “The statements I’ve made are — I want to keep the country calm. I don’t want panic in the country. I can cause panic much better than even you. I would make you look like a minor-league player, but you know what? I don’t want to do that. I want to have our country be calm and strong and fight and win, and it will go away.”
Trump went on to praise his administration, the task force and private companies who have contributed to the ongoing battle with the virus, saying: “it’s almost a miracle — and it is,” how everything came together.
“And, instead of asking a nasty, snarky question like that, you should ask a real question,” Trump scolded the reporter before moving on to other questions.