Outraged Donald Trump calls reporter 'disgrace' for lashing him over Covid lies
Donald Trump has lashed out at a journalist who confronted him over his lies about how deadly coronavirus was. ABC News political correspondent John Karl asked the president Thursday: ‘Why did you lie to the American people and why should we trust what u have to say now?’
He was referring to Trump’s newly-published on-the-record interviews with journalist Bob Woodward. Those saw the president admit he’d played down the threat of coronavirus despite knowing how dangerous and deadly it was. But Trump was unrepentant at Thursday’s Q&A, answering: ‘Such a terrible question and the phraseology.
‘What I said is we have to be calm, we can’t be panicked. I knew that these were. a series of mostly phone calls we had. Bob Woodward is somebody I respect from hearing the name for many, many years.
‘I thought it would be interesting to talk to him. Certainly, if he thought that was a bad statement, he would have reported that, because you don’t want anybody to suffer because of some fact.
‘Your question, the way you phrased that is such a disgrace. Its a disgrace to ABC television network, it’s a disgrace to your employer.
‘There was no lie here. What we are doing is leading and leading in a proper way.’ I don’t want to jump up and down and start screaming “Death! Death!” because that’s not what it’s all about.’
Speaking on-the-record to veteran journalist Woodward in February, Trump said: ‘You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed. ‘And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu. This is deadly stuff.’
‘To be honest with you, I always wanted to play it down.’ ‘I still like playing it down. I didn’t want to cause a panic.’
Trump spent the whole of February and the first two weeks of March playing down the severity of the encroaching coronavirus pandemic.
Despite telling Woodward he’d been warned it was the biggest health threat to the US since the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic that killed 50 million, Trump likened Covid to a seasonal flu, and said that it would ‘wash through’ the US without causing much harm.
He also sought to defend himself by claiming if his deception had been that serious, Woodward would have broken it straight away as a news story, rather than waiting to include it in his upcoming book Rage, which has been compiled from 18 chats with Trump.
Coronavirus has so-far infected more than 6.3million Americans, and killed 190,000 people.
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