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8 Aug, 2020 00:41

‘This is a peaceful protest!’ Trump rebukes journalist who mask-shamed crowded press conference

‘This is a peaceful protest!’ Trump rebukes journalist who mask-shamed crowded press conference

US President Donald Trump sparred with a reporter who observed that dozens of people at a press conference in New Jersey were flouting the state’s health guidelines, arguing the crowd was engaged in a “protest against fake news.”

During a presser at Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey on Friday, a journalist challenged the president’s contention that the coronavirus is “disappearing,” pointing out that even the crowd attending the press event was not adhering to the state’s restrictions. The question drew audible groans from the audience.

“No, they don’t have to, this is a political activity. You’re wrong on that, because it’s a political activity,” Trump shot back, prompting cheers from the crowd.

“And it’s also a peaceful protest… you have an exclusion in the law that says peaceful protests and political activity [are permitted],” he added.

I call it peaceful protest because they heard you were coming up, and they know the news is fake, they understand it better than anybody.

While critics circulated photos of the crowded golf club ahead of the press conference, some suggesting the gathering violated New Jersey’s face covering mandate, Politico White House reporter Meridith McGraw said that masks were handed out to guests shortly before the president’s remarks.

Noting that most in attendance were wearing masks and that they had permission to be at the event, Trump took one last parting shot at the media before ending the conference: “If the press in this country were honest – if it wasn’t corrupt, if it wasn’t fake – our country would be so much further ahead.”

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