Trump Abruptly Ends Press Conference After Contentious Exchange With Reporters
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President Donald Trump ended his Monday press conference unexpectedly after a tense exchange in which he asked an Asian-American journalist to “ask China” about her question and then refused to take another White House reporter’s question.
Weijia Jiang, a CBS News reporter in the White House, asked the President why he sees coronavirus testing as a global challenge when over 80,000 Americans died.
“Maybe that’s a question you should ask China,” Trump told Jiang, who was born in China and immigrated to the United States when she was two years old. “Don’t ask me. Ask China that question, OK?”
Trump tried to move on by calling CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins, but Jiang interjected a follow-up question.
Collins, who had let Jiang ask Trump her follow up questions, approached the microphone.
“I have two questions,” Collins said.
“No, it’s OK,” Trump replied.
“But you pointed to me,” Collins said. “I have two questions, Mr. President. You called on me.”
“I did,” Trump said. “And you didn’t respond, and now I’m calling on the young lady in the back.”
Some critics have said the remarks Trump made toward Jiang were racist. It wouldn’t be Jiang’s first time at the White House confronted with racist remarks.
Jiang wrote on Twitter in March that an official in the White House, whom she did not name, referred her face to the coronavirus as the “Kung-flu”.
Some critics claimed prejudice tainted the exchange.
“The President’s unprofessionalism is always revealed most clearly when he is interacting with female reporters,” tweeted Olivia Nuzzi, Washington correspondent for New York magazine.
A CNN spokesperson declined to comment. A spokesperson for CBS News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.