Trump Calls Press Conference ‘A Peaceful Protest’ When Attendees Are Accused Of Not Following Distancing Guidelines, Crowd Cheers

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President Donald Trump responded to a reporter’s question about press conference attendees not following New Jersey social distancing rules by pointing out that the event was a “peaceful protest or political activity” and therefore an “exception.”

“You said that the pandemic is disappearing, but we lost 6,000 Americans this week,” a reporter said as the president’s Friday press conference at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster wrapped up. “And just in this room, you have dozens of people that are not following guidelines in New Jersey.”

“You are wrong on that because it’s a political activity,” Trump shot back. “They have exceptions. Political activity. And it’s also a peaceful protest.”


“To me, they look like they all have masks on,” Trump said as the crowd laughed. “You have an exclusion in the law. It says peaceful protest or political activity, right? It says exactly, political activity or peaceful protests. And you can call it political activity, but I would call it peaceful protests because they heard you were coming up and they know the news is fake. They understand it better than anybody.”

Current coronavirus restrictions in New Jersey require face coverings and limit the number of patrons inside a golf course building to 25 percent capacity or 25 people maximum.

Although pictures were posted to social media showing people not wearing masks before the event, Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason reported that masks were later handed out to attendees. It was unclear whether all attendees were wearing masks during the reporter’s question. (RELATED: Chris Wallace: Trump, GOP Could Be Putting Democrats In ‘Difficult Political Position’ On Coronavirus Relief Funds)

“They asked whether or not they can be here,” Trump said to applause before leaving the stage. “If the press in this country were honest, if it wasn’t corrupt, if it wasn’t fake, our country would be so much further ahead.”