President Donald Trump abruptly ended Monday’s coronavirus briefing in the White House Rose Garden after sparring with two female reporters.
In the final moments of the briefing, Trump took a question from CBS News correspondent Weijia Jiang, who wanted to know why he continues to claim the U.S. is “doing far better than any other country when it comes to testing.”
“Why does that matter?” Jiang asked. “Why is this a global competition to you if everyday Americans are still losing their lives and we’re still seeing more cases every day?”
“Well, they’re losing their lives everywhere in the world,” Trump responded. “And maybe, that’s a question, you should ask China.”
“Sir, why are you saying that to me, specifically?” asked Jiang, who is of Asian descent and was born in China.
“I’m telling you,” Trump replied. “I’m not saying it specifically to anybody. I’m saying it to anybody that asks a nasty question.”
After the exchange, Trump called on CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, who paused to let Jiang ask a follow-up question.
Moments later, Collins approached the microphone. “I have two questions,” she said.
“No, it’s OK,” Trump replied. “I have two questions, Mr. President. You called on me,” Collins said.
“I did,” Trump said. “And you didn’t respond, and now I’m calling on the young lady in the back.”
“I just wanted to let my colleague finish,” Collins explained. “But can I ask you a question?”
Trump then hastily ended the news conference. “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much,” he said before walking out.
This isn’t the first time Trump has sparred with Jiang. Last month he exchanged words with the CBS journalist after she pressed him on statements made by his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.
Trump scolded Jiang for asking a “gotcha” question.