Weijia Jiang, White House correspondent for CBS News, asked the President why he sees coronavirus tests as a global competition when more than 80,000 Americans died.
“Maybe it’s a question you should ask China,” said Trump to Jiang, who was born in China and immigrated to the United States when he was two years old. “Don’t ask me. Ask China that question, okay?”
Trump attempted to move forward by calling Kaitlan Collins, a White House correspondent for CNN, but Jiang stopped a follow-up question.
“Sir, why are you telling me specifically?” asked Jiang, who was visibly surprised by Trump’s request.
“I’m telling you,” replied Trump. “I’m not saying it specifically to anyone. I’m telling anyone who asks a bad question.”
“It’s not a bad question,” said Jiang. “Because matter?”
Trump then looked again to answer another reporter’s question.
Collins, who had allowed Jiang to ask Trump about his follow-up questions, approached the microphone.
“I have two questions,” said Collins.
“No, it’s fine,” replied Trump.
“But you pointed me out,” said Collins. “I have two questions, Mr. President. He called me.”
“I did it,” said Trump. “And you didn’t answer, and now I’m calling the girl behind.”
“I just wanted to finish my colleague,” explained Collins. “But can I ask you a question?”
Trump therefore ended the press conference.
“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much,” he said before leaving the rose garden.
The president has been heavily criticized by critics for the behavior he has shown.
“A bad, bad ending to that one-hour appearance by the President in the Rose Garden,” said Wolf Blitzer of CNN.
Some critics claimed that Trump’s comments against Jiang were racist. It would not be the first time that Jiang has faced racist remarks in the White House.
Other critics have suggested that the exchange was steeped in sexism.
“The President’s unprofessional is revealed more and more clearly when he interacts with journalists,” tweeted Olivia Nuzzi, Washington correspondent for New York magazine.
A CNN spokesman declined to comment. A CBS News spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.