President Donald Trump called ABC News chief White House correspondent Jon Karl a “third rate reporter” during Monday’s coronavirus task force press conference.
Before the interaction between Trump and Karl, Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir had just finished addressing an internal government report, authored by HHS Principal Deputy Inspector General Christi Grimm, that claimed U.S. hospitals still have a shortage of coronavirus tests and that results have been delayed.
A career bureaucrat who began government service in 1999, according to her online biography Grimm was promoted to her current position in January 2020.
“I don’t know that person,” Giroir said, referring to Grimm. “I’ll tell you one thing that I have a problem with. If there was such a problem that she knew about or he knew about on March 23 or 24th, why did I find out about the test from them on the news media at 8 0-clock this morning? If there was a problem I think you’re ethically obliged to tell me where that is so we can interact with it like I do every single day.”
“But that’s a discussion for the future,” he continued. “I think testing is really in a good position right now and I’d be happy to expand on some of the really good tests that are coming up.”
At which point Trump jumped in to quiz Karl: “How long has that person been in government?”
“She did serve in the previous administration,” Karl responded.
“Oh, you didn’t tell me that,” Trump said sarcastically. “Oh, I see. You didn’t tell me that, Jon. You didn’t tell me that she did serve in the previous administration. You mean the Obama Administration. Thank you for telling me that. See, there’s a typical fake news deal.” (RELATED: ‘We Should Never Let Someone Like That Run This Country’: Tucker Carlson Says Dr. Fauci’s Advice Could Lead To ‘National Suicide’)
“You asked when she was appointed. I told you when she was appointed,” Karl said.
“You’re a third rate reporter, and what you just said is a disgrace. Ok?” Trump said. “You asked me, you said, sir, just got appointed. Take a look at what you said. Now I said, when did they — when did this person — how long in government? Well, it was appointed in the Obama Administration. Thank you very much, John. Thank you very much. You will never make it.”