Trump says ‘I don’t kid’ in stunning admission he ordered ‘slowdown’ of coronavirus testing

Trump says ‘I don’t kid’ in stunning admission he ordered ‘slowdown’ of coronavirus testing
First Lady Melania Trump listens as President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks during the September 11th Pentagon Observance Ceremony Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald Trump is admitting he was not joking when he told supporters in Tulsa on Saturday, “I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down please.'”


CBS News White House correspondent Weijia Jiang on Tuesday asked Trump if he was kidding when he made those remarks. Trump replied: “I don’t kid.”

He then went on to discuss the pros and supposed cons of testing.

Trump’s admission flies in the face of what the White House has been claiming since Saturday.

On Monday Trump refused to tell a reporter he was joking, while dodging and sidestepping the question.

But also on Monday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Trump made the damning remarks “in jest.”

Testing has been a challenge since the early days of the coronavirus. Trump early on made clear to aides his belief that a higher number of confirmed COVID-19 cases would harm his re-election chances.

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