During the White House press briefing on April 13, Donald Trump asked for the lights to be dimmed in order to play a special film for the viewers at home and reporters in attendance. After it became clear that this “movie” was a series of news clips trashing liberal media outlets, CNN cut away from the live feed, as did MSNBC.
The response online to what appeared to be a campaign video for the President was exactly as one would expect during this incredibly divisive time in politics: Liberal media panned it and right-wing reporters loved it. Trump, whom most believed would be kickstarting an in-depth discussion on the current state of America and the pandemic coronavirus, instead played what appeared to be a “campaign video” championing his response to COVID-19.
Such a video has never been played in the White House conference room, especially in the midst of a pandemic, and reporters had questions about the video, like who made it and when. Trump said his video was “produced by a group in the office” that included White House social media director Dan Scavino.
Particularly bothered by the campaign video was CBS reporter Paula Reid, who was sitting in the front row during Monday’s press briefing. She had more than a few questions for Trump and his movie of slanted news clips.
“Your video has a complete gap,” she challenged the President. “What did your administration do in February with the time that your travel ban bought you?”
In response, Trump said, “A lot. A lot.” After Reid again said, “The video has a gap,” Trump got visibly angry and lost his temper. “You know you’re a fake,” he said. “Your whole network.”
NBC News reporter Monica Alba tweeted, “The Trump campaign has been putting together clips like these for weeks now. This particular montage is bugged ‘White House video’ but it’s almost indistinguishable from what his re-elect effort blasts out on a daily basis.” Trump added that the video was made “in less than two hours,” and that he could’ve included “100 more clips” to share.
CNN’s Jim Acosta tweeted, “WH just played what appeared to be a campaign video defending Trump. In the briefing room. Just like a rally.”
PBS NewsHour reporter Yamiche Alcindor tweeted, “President Trump just showed a video in the WH briefing room defending this response to the coronavirus. The video was essentially a campaign video with cherry-picked cable videos aimed at only telling the president’s side.”
Paula Reid Asked Dr. Fauci If He Was Speaking On His Own Free Will During The Press Briefing
Earlier in the briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci gave a speech clarifying his previous comments in the press which seemed to be a knock on Trump’s lagging response to coronavirus, as a mere “poor choice of words.”
Afterward, Reid asked Fauci if he was speaking on his own free will. “Everything I do is voluntary. Please. Don’t even imply that,” Fauci said.