'It's a nasty question': Trump lashes out at reporter who asks about disbanded pandemic group

'It's a nasty question': Trump lashes out at reporter who asks about disbanded pandemic group
MSNBC

PBS NewsHour's Yamiche Alcindor asked the best and most incisive question during President Donald Trump's Friday press conference about the coronavirus — and the president lashed out in response.


She noted that earlier in the press conference Trump had said he doesn't "take responsibility at all" for the administration's failures to respond to the virus outbreak thus far.

"But you did disband the White House pandemic office," she said. "And the officials working in that office left this administration abruptly. So what responsibility do you take to that? And the officials that worked in that office said that you — that the White House lost valuable time because that office was disbanded. What do you make of that?"

"Well, I just think it's a nasty question," Trump said, despite Alcindor's complete civility and accuracy.

He continued: "When you say 'me,' I didn't do it."

"It's your administration," Alcindor pointed out.

"It's my administration," he responded. "You say we did that, I don't know anything about it."

"You don't know about the reorganization at the National Security Council?" she asked.

"It's the administration, perhaps they do that, you know?" he said.

It was a stunning display of peevishness, ignorance, and ineptitude. If it's true that Trump didn't know about the disbanding of the pandemic group, then he was utterly negligent in his role as president. Of course, the situation isn't any better if he did know since it shows — as this entire crisis has made clear — that he doesn't take the threat of disease outbreaks seriously.

Some pointed out, too, that Trump's comments exposed his hypocrisy given his past claims about leadership:

Watch the exchange below:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.