Media

Trump rips CNN reporter for ‘self-congratulation’ question: ‘You don’t have the brains you were born with’

President Trump slammed CNN’s Jeremy Diamond at Sunday’s White House coronavirus task force briefing after the reporter questioned the president’s “self-congratulation” over his handling of the pandemic, with Trump declaring, “You don’t have the brains you were born with.”

“Today we hit the grim milestone of more than 40,000 Americans now having died from the coronavirus. Can you explain then why you come out here and you are reading clips and — and showing clips of praise for you and for your administration? Is this really the time for self-congratulation?” Diamond asked.

“Well, I will tell you this, what I’m doing is I’m standing up for the men and women that have done such an incredible job,” Trump responded. “Not for me, for the men and women, admirals, vice president, if I might, but all of the men and women. Thousands, tens of thousands of them that build hospitals in New York and New Jersey and all over this country in record time. They’d throw up 1,000 beds in 4 days. I’m sticking up for those people. Those people have been incredible. I’m also sticking up for doctors and nurses and military doctors and nurses.”

“But the clips that you played and what you read earlier was praising you and your administration. Why is now the moment to do that? On the day more than 40,000 Americans have now died?” Diamond said.

“Those people have been just absolutely excoriated by some of the fake news like you. You’re CNN. You’re fake news. And let me just tell you, they were excoriated by people like you that don’t know any better because you don’t have the brains you were born with. You should be praising the people that have done a good job, not doing what you do,” Trump said.

“Look, you’re never going to treat me fairly, many of you, and I understand that,” the president added. “I got here with the worst, most unfair press treatment they say in the history of the United States for a president. They did say Abraham Lincoln had very bad treatment.”

Like other news organizations, CNN has been rotating its White House correspondents into the daily task force briefings, with Diamond part of a rotation that includes Jim Acosta and Kaitlan Collins.

Acosta provided a similar observation last week when he accused Trump of engaging in “happy talk” during the briefings, drawing a strong rebuke from the president.

“These people have done an incredible job,” Trump said, pointing to others who were on the stage. “This is not happy talk. Maybe it’s happy talk for you. It’s not happy talk for me. We are talking about death.”

“Thousands of people have died,” he added. “These are the saddest news conferences that I’ve ever had. I don’t like doing them. You know why? Because I’m talking about death.”

“That’s not a fair question,” Trump said toward the end of the exchange. “When you ask a question like that it’s very insulting to a lot of great people.”

CNN last Monday cut away from a White House briefing, with a network anchor calling it “propaganda,” and didn’t carry parts of it again on Sunday.

The president often derides CNN as “fake news” and has not appeared on the network since August 2016, when he was a candidate for the White House.

Tags Donald Trump Jim Acosta

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