President Donald Trump abruptly ended his coronavirus press briefing on Monday after getting visibly angry with two female reporters.
In the final moments of his briefing, Trump took a question from CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang, who asked him why he so often claimed the U.S. was “doing far better than any other country when it comes to testing” and framed it as a “global competition” when so many Americans are still dying, she said.
“Well, they’re losing their lives everywhere in the world. And maybe that’s a question you should ask China,” Trump told Jiang, who is of Asian descent and was born in China. “Don’t ask me. Ask China that question, OK? When you ask them that question, you may get a very unusual answer.”
Trump then called on another female reporter, CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, who paused to let Jiang ask a follow-up question: “Why are you saying that to me specifically?”
Trump fired back at Jiang that she was asking a “nasty question.” Then, seemingly punishing Collins for yielding time to Jiang, Trump refused to let Collins get her question in and called on someone else.
“Next, please,” Trump said, speaking over Collins as she tried to ask him her question. But before actually moving on to the next reporter, Trump abruptly ended the briefing and walked off stage.
This is the latest in a string of tense moments between Trump and the reporters who ask him questions at his coronavirus briefings. He has notably often directed his anger at the female reporters in the room, especially those who are women of color.
Jiang has been on the receiving end of Trump’s frustration before. In early April, he got angry with her line of questioning and charged at her: “It’s such a basic, simple question, and you try to make it sound so bad. You ought to be ashamed of yourself,” Trump said, calling her tone “very nasty.”