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President Trump berates Jim Acosta at coronavirus briefing over 'nasty, snarky' question


'I could cause panic, much better than even you'

Composite Image Source: YouTube screenshot

President Donald Trump berated CNN reporter Jim Acosta at Monday's coronavirus media briefing for asking what the president considered to be a "nasty snarky" question.

Acosta was questioning the president's previous statements on coronavirus, which he characterized as downplaying the crisis.

"Go ahead," said the president to Acosta. "Let's give it a shot."

"Sir, what do you say to Americans who are upset with you over the way you downplayed this crisis over the last couple of months?" Acosta asked, adding statements that the president had made in the past.

"We have it very much under control in this country. The coronavirus is very much under control in the U.S.A. It's going to disappear, it's like a miracle, it will disappear," Acosta quoted.

"March 4th, we have a very small number of people in this country infected," he continued.

"March 10th. We're prepared, we'd doing a great job with it, it will go away. Just stay calm; it will go away," Acosta added. "What do you say to Americans who believe that you got this wrong?"

"Well, isn't that true? It will go away, and I do want them to stay calm. And we are doing a great job. If you look at those individual statements, they're all true. Stay calm; it will go away. You know it is going away, and it will go away. And we're gonna have a great victory," the president responded.

"And it's people like you and CNN that say things like that, that it's why people just don't want to listen to CNN any more. You could ask a normal question. The statements I made are, I want to keep the country calm. I don't want panic in the country," Trump continued.

"I could cause panic, much better than even you. I could do much; it would make you look like a minor league player, but you know what, I don't want to do that," he added.

"I want to have our country be calm and strong and fight and win, and it will go away. And it is incredible, the job that all of these people are doing, putting them all together, the job that they're doing. I am very proud of the job they're doing, that [Vice President] Mike Pence is doing, that the task force has done, that Honeywell and Procter & Gamble and Mike and all of these people have done," Trump continued.

"I'm very proud, and it's almost a miracle, and it is, the way it's all come together," he concluded. "And instead of asking a nasty, snarky question like that, you should ask a real question."

On Sunday, the president announced that social distancing guidelines would be extended through April 30, far beyond the deadline of Easter that he said was an aspirational goal.

Here's the video of Trump berating Acosta:

President Trump spars with Jim Acosta at press briefing

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