Trump clashes with Black reporter during coronavirus briefing: ‘Be nice’

President Trump clashed with a reporter on Sunday during a press briefing on the coronavirus outbreak in the Rose Garden.

“PBS NewsHour” reporter Yamiche Alcindor questioned Trump during the briefing over recent comments he made during an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity about whether some requests from governors related to the outbreak were overblown or unnecessary.

Trump responded by first denying that he had made the comments, which were reported by multiple news outlets at the time, before accusing Alcindor of acting “threatening” during the briefing.

“Why don’t you act in a little more positive? … It’s always get ya, get ya, get ya,” Trump said to Alcindor. “You know what? That’s why nobody trusts the media anymore.”

“That’s why you used to work for the [New York] Times and now you work for somebody else,” he continued, speaking to Alcindor. “Look, let me tell you something. Be nice. Don’t be threatening.”

 

Alcindor asked Trump another question later in the press conference after CNN’s Jeremy Diamond apparently passed the microphone to her, an act for which she thanked him on Twitter.

In that exchange, Alcindor questioned whether any studies or data could support the president’s assertion that the economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak could be greater than the outbreak itself, a claim Trump then repeated without evidence.

Alcindor responded to Trump’s use of the term “threatening” to describe her in a tweet afterwards, writing that she was “not the first human being, woman, black person or journalist to be told that while doing a job.”

Trump has frequently clashed with reporters in public statements and on social media in recent days over his own comments about the coronavirus outbreak, which earlier this year he stressed was under control in the U.S. The United States now has more confirmed cases of the virus than any other country in the world, including China, where it is thought to have originated.

On Friday, he told Hannity that he doubted the necessity of some requests for assistance by state governors including New York’s Andrew Cuomo (D), who has requested 30,000 ventilators for the state’s hospitals.

“I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be,” Trump told the Fox News pundit on Friday. “I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You go into major hospitals sometimes, and they’ll have two ventilators. And now, all of a sudden, they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’”

Trump and Alcindor in particular have a history of confrontations at press briefings. Trump repeatedly accused her of asking a “racist” question about his support from African American voters in 2018.

Earlier this month, Trump again attacked Alcindor during a press briefing after she asked about the dismantling of a pandemic response team that was part of the National Security Council, which the president at the time labeled a “nasty” question.

-The Hill