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26 Apr, 2020 00:11

‘I never said it was a hoax!’ Trump unloads on media in fiery rant, says coronavirus briefings ‘not worth the time and effort’

‘I never said it was a hoax!’ Trump unloads on media in fiery rant, says coronavirus briefings ‘not worth the time and effort’

US President Donald Trump fired off a scathing broadside at the mainstream media, accusing them of peddling the false claim that he called the coronavirus a hoax, and suggesting the Covid-19 briefings are a waste of time.

“What is the purpose of having White House News Conferences when the Lamestream Media asks nothing but hostile questions, & then refuses to report the truth or facts accurately,” the president tweeted on Saturday evening.

The swipe came after he scaled down what has become a tradition – daily coronavirus press conferences in which he updates the nation on his administration’s response to the pandemic, then being grilled by reporters. The briefings typically feature an array of top officials from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, including Vice President Mike Pence, and last for over an hour.

Also on rt.com No, Trump did NOT suggest injecting disinfectant to treat Covid-19

On Friday, however, the briefing took just around 20 minutes, with Trump refusing to take questions from the sparsely populated White House briefing room. The change in Trump’s modus operandi came after the media spun his off-hand and somewhat rambling remark about finding a way to clean the body on the inside like disinfectants do on the outside as advice to inject disinfectants into the body – to the president’s utter dismay, apparently.

Although Trump later sought to explain the obvious – that he had not advised Americans to inject themselves with bleach, laughing it off as a “sarcastic question” to reporters – that did not stop the media and Twittersphere from going into overdrive.

In his Saturday Twitter rant, Trump also blasted the media for what he insisted was another piece of botched reporting, saying that contrary to widespread media claims, he never called the pandemic a hoax.

“I never said the pandemic was a Hoax! Who would say such a thing? I said that the Do Nothing Democrats, together with their Mainstream Media partners, are the Hoax,” he tweeted.

In fact, Trump never called the outbreak – which has so far infected over 933,000 people across the US and killed over 53,000 – a hoax. While accusing the Democratic Party of “politicizing” the virus at a rally in late February, he referred to it as “their new hoax,” comparing it to Russiagate and the “impeachment hoax.”

Also on rt.com House passes $484bn coronavirus relief bill for small businesses in bipartisan vote as Dems launch PROBE into Trump’s response

Democrats have tried to weaponize the pandemic from the outset, accusing the Trump administration of downplaying the dangers of the virus. On Thursday, House Democrats voted to set up a new investigative panel to probe Trump’s handling of the crisis, drawing a rebuke from the GOP, which pointed out that there are already several House committees with far-reaching oversight powers.

The move was lambasted by Trump, who labelled it yet another “witch hunt” in the making.

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