JAKE TAPPER: “Attacking journalists who ask questions does not make those questions go away. It only reveals that you might not have the answers”, Mr President
” Trump is taking questions from reporters nearly every day, but that does not mean he’s answering them. The president continually responds to urgent questions from the media about the coronavirus pandemic by attacking the journalists asking the questions, no matter how relevant or vital.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You’re a third-rate reporter. And what you just said is a disgrace.
That was a nasty question from CNN. You’re just incapable of asking a question in a positive way.
TAPPER: You heard that right. Amid a global pandemic and tens of thousands of infected and dead Americans, the president is upset that journalists are not asking questions in a positive way and are instead asking him challenging questions, questions he clearly does not want to answer, questions that he does not want you to think about, such as the April 6th HHS inspector general report that surveyed 323 U.S. hospitals that lacked enough testing equipment, to say nothing of PPE, masks, ICU beds, or more, asked about by FOX News Kristin Fisher.
KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEW CORRESPONDENT: I know you don’t want to talk about the inspector general report, but testing is still a big issue in this country.
TRUMP: We’re the federal government. We’re not supposed to stand on street corners doing testing.
You should say, congratulations, great job, instead of being so horrid in the way you ask a question.
TAPPER: There’s nothing horrid about the question. Mr. President, on March 6th, you visited the CDC, and you said anyone who wants a test can get a test. That was not true then. It remains untrue today.
Any responsible path out of this situation requires much more widespread testing than the U.S. is doing right now. What is the plan to ramp it up even more, sir? How many more Americans will be tested? And by when? Then there’s this question from CBS’ Weijia Jiang.
WEIJIA JIANG, CBS NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yesterday Jared Kushner said the notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile. It’s not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use. What did he mean by “our”?
TAPPER: The president responded by calling that a gotcha question. It’s not. And saying that the reporter should be ashamed of herself. She shouldn’t.
But, Mr. President, the American people want to know, what responsibility do you believe the federal government has when it comes to aiding states with supplies from the federal stockpile? Colorado’s Democratic governor said that FEMA had swooped in and grabbed ventilators that his state was trying to get, and then days later, you announced that you were giving ventilators to Colorado because of the efforts of a vulnerable Republican senator from that state.
What do you and Jared Kushner mean when you say “our” stockpile? What is the plan with the stockpile? Then there’s this question from McClatchy’s Francesca Chambers.
FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, MCCLATCHY WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The Paycheck Protection Program has got off to a confusing start for some small businesses —
TRUMP: I don’t think so.
TAPPER: President Trump interrupted to disagree and criticized Chambers for not asking him a — quote — “positive question,” about how the program had gotten off to a — quote — “tremendous start.” Look, Mr. President, everyone wants this program to work, but the fact remains, that there are issues with the Paycheck Protection Program.
How are those kinks being fixed? What is the plan? Attacking journalists who ask questions does not make those questions go away. It only reveals that you might not have the answers.
Again, sir, respectfully, what is the plan for a way out of this? Do you have one?
Jake Tapper – CNN