President Donald Trump called out an NBC reporter Thursday during a press conference about the novel coronavirus, saying that the network called him “racist” for imposing a travel ban on China.
Reporter Kristen Welker asked Trump about how the administration prepared for the outbreak and asked why there were not more test kits ready. She also asked the president when Americans could “expect their lives to go back to normal.”
Trump fought back against Welker’s line of questioning and said the administration was “very prepared.” He added that the one thing the administration was not prepared to deal with was the media and blamed China for not being upfront about the novel coronavirus.
“We were very prepared,” Trump answered. “The only thing we weren’t prepared for was the media, the media has not treated it fairly. I’ll tell you how prepared I was, I called for a ban from people coming in from China long before anybody thought it was – in fact, it was your network, I believe they called me a racist because I did that.”
“Many of the people in the room, they called me racist and other words because I did that,” the president continued. “Because I went so early, so when you say we weren’t prepared, had I let these tens of thousands of people come in from China a day, we would have had something right now, that would have been — you wouldn’t have even recognized it compared to where we are.”
Trump also bashed the media later on in the press conference when One America News’s (OAN) Chanel Rion asked if Trump thinks some media outlets “have teamed up with Chinese Communist Party narratives.” Rion also accused some members of the press, including ones in the room, of “siding with foreign state propaganda, Islamic radicals, Latin gangs and cartels.”
This question came after Rion asked if Trump considers “the term Chinese food racist, because it’s food that originates in China?” Trump replied that he does not think it is racist and then continued on to call out numerous publications for their reporting.
“It amazes me when I read the things that I read. It amazes me when I read ‘The Wall Street Journal,’ which is always so negative,” Trump said. “It amazes me when I read ‘The New York Times’ — I barely read it. You know, we don’t distribute it in the White House anymore, and the same thing with ‘The Washington Post.’ Because you see, I know the truth. And people out there in the world, they really don’t know the truth. They don’t know what it is.”
“It’s more than fake news, it’s corrupt news,” according to the president. (RELATED: ‘Very Fair’: Trump Praises Media’s Coronavirus Coverage Over Past Few Days)
The president added that “the press is very dishonest.” He accused them of “siding with China” and of “doing things they shouldn’t be doing.”
“They’re very dishonest. And you know what, some day – hopefully in five years – I won’t be here and that will be fine. I will have done, I think, a great job,” Trump continued. ” Because I don’t think anyone has done as much in three and a half years as I’ve done, and the administration. This administration has done a great job. But the press is very dishonest.”
“They are siding with China. They’re doing things they shouldn’t be doing. They’re siding with many others. China is the least of it. Why they’re doing this, you’ll have to ask them.”