Recently President Trump has increased his habit of walking out of press conferences when he does not like the questions he is asked. He simply turns away when pressed about misinformation his administration is releasing. Many news agencies find this behavior is incredibly unprofessional, while others think it is perfectly acceptable. On July 28, 2020, CNN rebuked him, adding that reporters ask important questions and deserve to be answered.
In one incident, CNN reporter Kaitlin Collins asked Trump about his choice to retweet a video by doctor Stella Immanuel, in which she flaunts the effects of hydroxychloroquine when given to COVID patients. He was asked about this due to Immanuel’s history of making ridiculous medical claims.
In the past, she has spoken of the harmful effects of having sexual relations with demons and witches while dreaming, the use of alien DNA in various medicines, and the production of a vaccine to turn people against religious beliefs. Immanuel’s claims have been debunked. Moreover, she uses YouTube to spread homophobic and transphobic ideas.
Trump’s response to this question was to say: “I can tell you this: She was on air, along with many other doctors — they were big fans of hydroxychloroquine, and I thought she was very impressive. I don’t know which country she comes from. But she said that she’s had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients. And I thought her voice was an important voice. But I know nothing about her.”
When he tried to move on to another reporter, Collins continued questioning him, as he response did not accurately answer her question. He again attempted to move on and she asked her question again. He then thanked everyone for coming and walked off the stage.
Again and Again
Trump has walked out of a press conference again. CBS News White House correspondent Weijia Jiang had the following conversation with the President: “You have said many times that the U.S. is doing far better than any other country when it comes to testing,” to which the president replied, “Yes.” She then asked, “Why does that matter? Why is it a global competition to you, if every day Americans are still losing their lives, and we are still seeing more cases every day?” He deflected the question with “They’re losing their lives everywhere in the world. And maybe that’s a question you should ask China. Don’t ask me. Ask China that question, okay? If you ask them that question, you may get a very unusual answer.”
The reporter then asked the President why the question was directed at her — she is Chinese American. He claimed that he was addressing the question to “anyone who would ask a nasty question like that.” He then moved on swiftly.
Kaitlin Collins of CNN was also at this press conference and was called upon to ask a question. She reached the microphone and said, “I have two questions.” Trump proceeded to dismiss her and called upon another reporter. She responded “But you called on me,” to which he replied “I did. And you didn’t respond, and now I’m calling on the other young lady in the back.”
After more protest from Collins and an explanation that she simply wanted to let Jiang finish her questions Trump said, “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. appreciate it, thank you very much,” before he turned around and walked away.
Journalists and the public in general are hopeful that the President does not make a habit of walking away when faced with uncomfortable questions.
CNN: Trump abruptly ends briefing after being pressed over retweeting misinformation
Independent: Trump defends doctor who claimed medicine is made from alien DNA and walks out of briefing mid question
CNBC: Trump abruptly ends press conference after reporters challenge him on coronavirus testing
Featured Image Courtesy of Michael Vandon’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Thomas Cizauskas’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License