Donald Trump is such a camera hog that he does his own press briefings. It’s a moment for the narcissist-in-chief to preen like a peacock. What he can’t stand is anyone who questions the image he wants projected to the people.
You know who else is like this? Every dictator who has ever dictated.
Unfortunately for the president, this is America, and as such, the press is supposed to be the voice of the people—and the people don’t fuck with this president.
So yesterday, President Richie Rich got all huffy and threatened to leave his own rally disguised as a press briefing because he didn’t like Playboy White House correspondent Brian Karem’s face. I say “face” because the president knows Karem and didn’t even let him ask a question.
On Tuesday, the president moved the White House coronavirus task force press briefing from the normal confines of the Brady briefing room to the Rose Garden, and maybe it was because the press wasn’t gracious enough, but the president then proceeded to be an absolute asshole for the better part of an hour.
The president called on Karem, who was trying to get through his question, which included “the numbers of deaths and infections from the COVID-19 disease, and tried to ask Trump about his influence over people who don’t want to follow social distancing guidelines,” Mediaite reports.
Karem was never able to finish because Trump, being the brilliant mind that he is, claimed he knew what Karem was asking before the reporter could even get his entire question out. Trump then halfheartedly answered the question he assumed Karem was going to ask and then moved to call on NBC News’ Hans Nichols, “who also attempted to interrupt Karem,” Mediaite reports.
When Karem kept trying to ask the question he’d been called on by the president to ask, Trump got all huffy and threatened to leave his own birthday party press briefing.
Below is the exchange according to Mediaite:
Karem: Today: 600,000 cases, 25,000 deaths. I know you want to bring — blame the WHO, but I’ve spoken to hundreds of people across the country in the last few weeks who say they still can’t get tested and that they aren’t social distancing because they saw —
Trump: So the governors —
Karem: Wait — wait a minute. Let me finish.
Trump: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Karem: So they aren’t —
Trump: Excuse me. Excuse me. I know — I know your question. You ready?
Karem: Well, no, you don’t. No —
Trump: The governors — the governors are supposed to do testing. It’s up to the governors.
(to Hans Nichols) go ahead
Karem: That’s not the question. Wait a minute, Mr. President. That’s not the question.
Trump: Go ahead please.
Nichols: Mr. President, if we could just — if we could just get back —
Karem: The question — the question was —
Trump: Quiet. Quiet.
Karem: The question, Mr. President —
Karem: The question is —
Nichols: If we could just get back to May 1. Mr. President, how many —
Karem: — they say that they are not — that they are following your lead,
that they are not social distancing.
Trump: The governors are doing the testing. It’s now not up — and it hasn’t been up —
to the federal government.
Karem: That’s not what I’m asking. The question is about social distancing, sir.
Nichols: Mr. President, I have a quick follow on the WHO, but if May 1 —
Karem: The question is if —
Trump: I told them when they put this guy here, it’s nothing but trouble. He’s a showboat.
Karem: I’m just trying to ask you a question.
Trump: If you keep talking, I’ll leave —
Karem: I’m just trying to ask a question.
Trump: — and you can have it out with the rest of these people.
Karem: I’m just trying to ask a question. I’m just —
Trump: If you keep talking, I’m going to leave and you can have it out with them.
Karem: It’s a simple question.
Trump: Just a loudmouth.
And this, my friends, is how you manipulate the press and continue to ignore valid questions about how your administration thoroughly fucked up the response to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 26,000 people in this country.
Watch the president’s meltdown below: