CNN’s Kaitlan Collins clashes with Trump over her mask removal, evokes coronavirus death toll
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins clashed with President Trump after he called her a “CNN Faker!” in a tweet that included video of the White House correspondent removing her mask in the James S. Brady Briefing Room immediately after a press conference ended on Friday.
The back-and-forth came after a C-SPAN video feed showed Collins removing her protective mask as other reporters in the room kept theirs on while exiting the indoor briefing room.
The video quickly went viral on social media, with Eric Trump also sharing it.
“A CNN Faker!” President Trump tweeted to his 80 million followers.
A CNN Faker! https://t.co/boSTXeIWcU
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2020
Collins responded by evoking the death toll in the U.S. as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Nearly 90,000 Americans have been killed by coronavirus, and the president is tweeting about me pulling my mask down for six seconds on Friday,” Collins said in a tweet that tallied nearly 57,000 likes as of Monday morning.
Nearly 90,000 Americans have been killed by coronavirus, and the president is tweeting about me pulling my mask down for six seconds on Friday. https://t.co/UYib8tS7pO
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) May 18, 2020
Earlier Friday, Collins asked the president why some administration officials at a Rose Garden briefing were not wearing masks.
“We’ve all been tested and we are quite a distance away and we are outdoors, so I told them, I gave them the option, they could wear it or not,” Trump replied. “So you can blame it on me, but I gave them the option. We could wear it or not.”
At vaccine event in the Rose Garden, POTUS is joined by several officials on stage. Some, like Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci are in masks. Others, like Defense Secretary Esper and HHS Secretary Azar, aren’t.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) May 15, 2020
Trump and CNN correspondents have regularly engaged in verbal skirmishes at press conferences.
The president has not appeared on the network since before winning the 2016 election, with his last appearance occurring in August 2016.