President Trump did not take the bait when asked a particularly nasty question by a New York Magazine reporter at Monday’s coronavirus briefing. Instead, Trump answered like a champ.
It was the final question of the day and, judging by the smirk on her face, Olivia Nuzzi was happy to be called on.
“If an American president loses more Americans over the course of six weeks than died over the entirety of the Vietnam war, does he deserve to be reelected,” Nuzzi asked.
Trump answered with a thought out response, rather than the fury sometimes unleashed on reporters he deems as rude or part of a fake news network.
“So, we’ve lost a lot of people, but if you look at what original projections were, 2.2 million, we’re probably headed to 60, 000, 70,000, far too many — one person is too many for this — and I think we’ve made a lot of really good decisions,” Trump answered. “The big decision was closing the border or doing the ban, people coming in from China, obviously other than American citizens which had to come in; you can’t say you can’t come back to your country.”
The president went on to acknowledge the great job he thinks Vice President Mike Pence has done getting medical equipment to the states. “I think that Mike Pence and the task force have done a fantastic job; I think that everybody working on the ventilators; you see what we’ve done there, have done unbelievable,” he said. “The press doesn’t talk about ventilators anymore; they just don’t want to talk about ‘em and that’s okay.”
Nuzzi’s question caught the attention of former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, who was less than amused. “It’s clown questions like this that can make the briefing a waste of time,” the former Bush staffer tweeted. “The only point of that question was to provoke. Not learn anything new. Not provide information to viewers. The point was to get under Trump’s skin. Good to see potus rose above and didn’t take the bait.”
It’s clown questions like this that can make the briefing a waste of time. The only point of that question was to provoke. Not learn anything new. Not provide information to viewers. The point was to get under Trump’s skin. Good to see potus rose above and didn’t take the bait. https://t.co/ElNzIKvG36— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) April 27, 2020
Nuzzi, who was once named a “Breakout Media Star” by Politico, appeared to be the one provoked in the end. “Oh shut the f*** up,” she responded to Fleischer’s tweet.
Oh shut the fuck up— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) April 27, 2020