Trump Promotes Conspiracies In Latest Briefing
March 29, 2020
In tonight’s press briefing, Trump continued to spread falsehoods and outrageously appeared to suggest that health care workers were stealing masks, instead of acknowledging that his own delayed response contributed to shortages. As the nation grapples with the severity of this growing crisis, Trump still managed to take time to make it all about himself.
LATEST CONSPIRACY THEORY:
Trump appeared to suggest conspiracy theories about health care workers stealing masks, ignoring the fact that more masks are needed as the crisis grows, in part because of his delayed response.
CNN’s Daniel Dale: “Trump suggests, providing no evidence, that there is something nefarious going on with New York’s use of a large number of masks: ‘Something’s going on, and you oughtta look into it. Where are the masks going? Are they going out the back door?’”
New York Times’s Maggie Haberman: “The president says he keeps hearing asks for more and more masks. ‘I think people should check that, cause there’s something going on.’ Says it may be ‘something worse than hoarding.’”
Politico’s Ben White: “Trump is speculating that NYC hospital staff may be secretly stealing and selling masks.”
MOVING THE GOALPOSTS:
Trump was contradicted by our nation’s top infectious disease expert after he downplayed coronavirus death estimates — then tried to move the goalposts, saying 100,000 deaths would show he’s done a good job.
CNN’s Daniel Dale: “Trump, reframing the crisis, says he’s now seen a study that shows 2.2 million people could’ve died if they did nothing, so ‘if we can hold that down to 100,000…maybe even less,’ it’d show they did a ‘good job.’”
CNN’s Ryan Struyk: “Trump on 100,000 deaths estimate: ‘I think the number is going to be a very different number.’ Fauci, 30 seconds later: ‘I think it’s entirely conceivable that if we do not mitigate to the extent that we’re trying to do, that you could reach that number. Yeah, it is possible.’”
MORE FALSE CLAIMS:
Trump falsely claimed that many states are “stocked up” with medical supplies and painted governors who ask for help as complainers.
Vox’s Aaron Rupar: “‘Many of the states are stocked up. Some don’t admit it. But we have sent so much.’ — Trump paints governors who are asking for more federal help as complainers”
Trump tried to blame faulty testing on the Obama administration, despite the problems occurring this year during his failed response.
Vox’s Aaron Rupar: “‘The biggest problem was the test didn’t work. That was not from us. That has been there a long time’ — here’s Trump trying to blame Obama for faulty coronavirus tests that were developed by the CDC earlier this year”
Trump continued to attack our nation’s governors and falsely denied that he said he’d stonewall governors who don’t praise him.
Washington Post’s James Hohmann: “Trump rips Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.). ‘*I* don’t call the governor of Washington now,’ he says. But he says he does not stop Pence & others from calling Inslee. ‘He’s a failed presidential candidate. He’s a nasty person. … So I get Mike Pence to call.’ Then he attacks CNN.”
CNN’s Daniel Dale: “Trump is now falsely denying that he said his comments about not calling governors who don’t treat you right, then he says, ‘I don’t call. But Mike Pence calls. And the head of FEMA calls.’ He then says he’s never told Pence not to, though he’s said he HAS said that to Pence.”
Trump lied and went off the rails when he was confronted over saying that a lot of ventilators are being asked for that won’t be needed.
MSNBC’s Kyle Griffin: “The president is attacking @Yamiche again and telling her to ‘be nice’ after she asked about the president about his interview with Sean Hannity.”
Washington Post’s Philip Rucker: “Trump is losing his cool, again, with @Yamiche, who routinely gets under his skin with probing questions. The president wouldn’t let her state her question first before interrupting to trash her personally and the media generally.”
ALL ABOUT HIMSELF:
Trump put his ego at the center of the federal government’s coronavirus response.
Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey: “‘When they disrespect me, they’re disrespecting our government,’ Trump says.”
After spending the day tweeting about his ratings, Trump continued to focus on his ratings tonight.
CNN’s Jim Acosta: “Trump both quoting a NYT story about the ratings for his press conferences while slamming the newspaper at the same time. What does that have to do with a pandemic?”
Associated Press’s Michael Tackett: “To another friendly question, Trump talks about the ratings his briefings get”
New York Times’s Maggie Haberman: “OAN aaka [sic] about Trump’s approval ratings and is there ‘a link’ between his higher approval ratings and discussions about whether networks shouldn’t air briefings. It’s a ‘nice question,’ Trump says. Says he sees ‘numbers, they don’t matter to me.’ He tweeted about ratings earlier.”