Trump campaign attacks NBC reporter as White House briefing begins
President Trump’s campaign took a jab at NBC News reporter Peter Alexander on Saturday, sending an email to supporters about how Alexander is “dishonest” as the president took the podium in the White House briefing room.
Alexander has sparred with Trump before, and on Friday it happened again after the president grew irritated with Alexander’s line of questioning.
Trump snapped after Alexander asked him what his message was to Americans who are “scared” about the pandemic.
“I say that you’re a terrible reporter,” Trump quipped. “That’s what I say. I think it’s a very nasty question, and I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people.”
Later on MSNBC, Alexander explained why he asked the question.
“I was trying to provide the president an opportunity to reassure the millions of Americans” who may be scared amid the coronavirus outbreak, he said. “This was his opportunity to … provide a sort of positive or uplifting message.”
I offered both Pres Trump and VP Pence an opportunity to reassure Americans.
Simple question: “What do you say to Americans who are scared?”
Trump, to me: “I say, you’re a terrible reporter.”
Pence, an hour later: “Don’t be afraid. Be vigilant.”
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) March 20, 2020
Alexander’s response, Trump’s campaign email asserted, was “pure, dishonest garbage.”
“President Trump was in the middle of delivering a positive, uplifting message to Americans who may be afraid, and Peter Alexander was triggered by it,” the email claims. “Perhaps if Alexander hadn’t been so determined to undermine the President’s message, he would have heard it.”
At Saturday’s coronavirus task force press briefing, NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell was present, but Alexander was not.
The Hill has reached out to NBC News for comment.