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Trump Has Testy Exchange With Journalist

'You're a terrible reporter,' says president after question about what he should say to scared Americans
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2020 12:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump's Friday news briefing about the coronavirus got seriously testy during an exchange between the president and a reporter for NBC News, reports Deadline. As Mediaite reports, the animosity began when Peter Alexander questioned Trump about whether he was giving Americans "a false sense of hope" with positive comments about drugs being tested. “No I don’t think so,” Trump replied. “Such a lovely question.” But that was just the start:

  • Alexander: "What do you say to Americans who are scared, though? Nearly 200 dead, 14,000 who are sick, millions, as you witnessed, who are scared right now. What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?"
  • Trump: “I say that you’re a terrible reporter," answered the president. (See the video.) "I think that’s a very nasty question. And I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people." He said Americans were "looking for answers and they're looking for hope. And you're doing sensationalism." He referred to NBC parent company Comcast as "Con-cast," and told Alexander, "You ought to be ashamed of yourself."

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Later, CNN's Kaitlan Collins asked Trump about his criticism of the NBC reporter, per Mediaite. “Do you really think going off on Peter, going off on a network is appropriate for when the country is going through something like this?” she asked. Trump's reply: "I think Peter is—you know I’ve dealt with Peter for a long time. And I think Peter is not a good journalist when comes to fairness," he said. "This is the time to come together. But coming together is much harder when we have dishonest journalists." (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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