President Donald Trump took a swipe at Jim Acosta — and CNN — during Monday’s coronavirus press briefing.
“Let’s give it a shot,” Trump shrugged as he allowed Acosta to ask his question, then quickly appeared to lose patience with the direction he took with it. (RELATED: ‘My Hair Is Blowing Around’: Wind Restyles Trump’s Hair During Coronavirus Press Conference)
“What do you say to Americans who are upset with you over the way you downplayed this crisis over the last couple of months?” Acosta asked, quoting Trump’s earlier comments about having things under control. “What do you say to Americans who thought you got this wrong?”
“I do want them to stay calm and we are doing a great job,” Trump responded. “If you look at those individual statements, they’re all true. Stay calm, it will go away. You know it is going away. And it will go away. And we’re going to have a great victory.”
Trump then turned on Acosta and CNN, adding, “It’s people like you and CNN that say things like that, that — it’s why people just don’t want to listen to CNN anymore. You can ask a normal question.”
The president went on to say that he wanted to keep Americans calm and allow them the room to navigate the pandemic without causing more panic, adding that if panic were the goal, he could certainly make that happen as well.
“I don’t want panic in the country. I could cause panic much better than even you. I could do much — I would make you look like a minor league player,” Trump said. “But you know what, I don’t want to do that. I want to have our country be calm and strong and fight and win, and it will go away.”
Trump concluded by praising the private companies and leaders who had come together to provide much-needed supplies and disseminate information, taking one last parting shot at Acosta. “Instead of asking a nasty, snarky question like that, you should ask a real question and other than that, I’m going to go to somebody else,” he said.