Donald Trump snapped and lied to reporter Jon Karl when he was asked why he lied to Americans in February during a press conference he called to distract and try to quell the anger and backlash from Wednesday's revelations that he knew how deadly the coronavirus was and didn't tell anyone.
The presser itself was a bad mistake.
ABC News reporter Jon Karl asked a perfectly sane question: "Why did you lie to the American people and why should we trust what you have to say?"
Here's how you know that landed. Trump's response did not answer the question. Instead he went after the question. "That's a terrible question and the phraseology," Trump snapped. "I didn't lie. What I said, we have to be calm, we can't be panicked."
Actually, no. That's not what he said. So for clarity, on February 7th he outlined just how deadly the virus was, he held rallies, wouldn't wear a mask, wouldn't ask anyone to wear a mask, and downplayed the severity of the virus, by his own admission. He said plainly on February 7, "This is deadly stuff." He knew.
Realizing that his rambling was taking him nowhere, Donald then blamed Bob Woodward. No, really, he did. If Woodward thought it was bad, he told reporters, he would have reported it right then. But he didn't so that means it wasn't bad and Woodward didn't think it was bad.
Jon Ralston's tweet expresses my thoughts perfectly:
Just turned on the WH briefing and stunned to hear this repeated over and over again: President Woodward apparently let the country down by not going to the authorities when he learned what Trump really believed.
— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) September 10, 2020
Like the true narcissist he is, Donald just cannot ever admit he lied about anything. He lies as easily as he breathes.
Instead of just admitting that the only entity Trump was worried about panicking was the stock market, he went off on what can only be described as a kid caught with drugs in his room trying to explain it away with some bullshit and fast talk. How did he do that? By claiming lots of people have died of the flu, too!
He even pulled his yesman Scott Atlas out of the shadows to confirm that yes, lots of people have died from the flu. But Atlas couldn't produce a number comparable to the 191,000 who have died.
Trump, like the true conman that he is, turned back to Karl and once again castigated him for asking the question.
It's good to see the White House press getting some backbone ahead of the election but what the hell took so long?
UPDATE: Compare and contrast Trump's lying (and outcome) to President Obama's Ebola response:
Here's President Obama in 2014 on the threat of Ebola pandemic. He did not LIE like Trump. He explained the deadly risks posed by Ebola. It worked: ONLY 11 Ebola cases on US soil and two deaths. Compare to Trump: 6.4 million Covid cases and over 191,000 dead #TrumpLiedPeopleDied pic.twitter.com/qyA6bzt7Uc
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) September 10, 2020