Trump abruptly ends press conference after contentious exchange with reporters

President Trump told CBS reporter Weijia Jiang to "ask China" in response to her question at a White House press conference and refused to answer questions from CNN's Kaitlan Collins.

Posted: May 12, 2020 6:21 PM
Updated: May 12, 2020 6:21 PM

President Donald Trump abruptly ended his Monday press conference after a contentious exchange in which he asked an Asian-American journalist to "ask China" about her question and then refused to take a query from another White House reporter.

Weijia Jiang, a White House correspondent for CBS News, asked the President why he sees coronavirus testing as a global competition when more than 80,000 Americans have died.

"Maybe that's a question you should ask China," Trump told Jiang, who was born in China and immigrated to the United States when she was two years old. "Don't ask me. Ask China that question, OK?"

Trump attempted to move on by calling on Kaitlan Collins, a White House correspondent for CNN, but Jiang interjected with a follow-up question.

"Sir, why are you saying that to me specifically?" asked Jiang, who was visibly taken aback by Trump's demand.

"I'm telling you," Trump replied. "I'm not saying it specifically to anybody. I'm saying it to anybody that asks a nasty question."

"That's not a nasty question," Jiang said. "Why does it matter?"

Trump then looked again to take a question from another reporter.

Collins, who had let Jiang ask Trump her follow up questions, approached the microphone.

"I have two questions," Collins said.

"No, it's OK," Trump replied.

"But you pointed to me," Collins said. "I have two questions, Mr. President. You called on me."

"I did," Trump said. "And you didn't respond, and now I'm calling on the young lady in the back."

"I just wanted to let my colleague finish," Collins explained. "But can I ask you a question?"

Trump then ended the press conference.

"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much," he said before leaving the Rose Garden.

The President was strongly criticized by critics for the behavior he displayed.

"A very ugly, ugly ending to that one-hour appearance by the President in the Rose Garden," CNN's Wolf Blitzer said.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called the exchange "pretty pathetic" and wrote on Twitter that Trump "is a coward who tears down others to make himself feel powerful."

Some critics said Trump's remarks toward Jiang were racist. It wouldn't be the first time Jiang was confronted by racist remarks at the White House.

Jiang wrote on Twitter in March that a White House official, who she did not name, had referred to the coronavirus as the "Kung-flu" to her face.

Other critics suggested the exchange was laced with sexism.

"The President's unprofessionalism is always revealed most clearly when he is interacting with female reporters," tweeted Olivia Nuzzi, Washington correspondent for New York magazine.

A CNN spokesperson declined to comment. A spokesperson for CBS News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 604406

Reported Deaths: 7629
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1249281777
Ramsey52501896
Dakota46829470
Anoka42767458
Washington27423291
Stearns22555224
St. Louis18138313
Scott17550135
Wright16374149
Olmsted13397102
Sherburne1201695
Carver1067248
Clay826092
Rice8200110
Blue Earth762544
Crow Wing681794
Kandiyohi667985
Chisago619852
Otter Tail585884
Benton582998
Goodhue483874
Douglas475481
Mower470633
Winona461351
Itasca459463
Isanti439964
McLeod430561
Morrison424862
Beltrami407861
Nobles407650
Steele397916
Polk389072
Becker386755
Lyon363853
Carlton352856
Freeborn346933
Pine335023
Nicollet331245
Mille Lacs311954
Brown307840
Le Sueur297326
Cass286132
Todd285633
Meeker263342
Waseca238023
Martin235332
Roseau211221
Wabasha20783
Hubbard196641
Dodge18783
Renville182446
Redwood176539
Houston174616
Cottonwood167124
Wadena163323
Fillmore157410
Faribault154719
Chippewa154038
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146810
Aitkin138937
Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122612
Pipestone116726
Yellow Medicine114920
Pope11306
Murray107110
Swift106918
Koochiching95417
Stevens92411
Clearwater89016
Marshall88817
Lake83220
Wilkin83213
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6044
Grant5948
Lincoln5853
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48393
Red Lake4017
Traverse3775
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 371050

Reported Deaths: 6051
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58259640
Linn21218339
Scott20307248
Black Hawk16139312
Woodbury15238230
Johnson1461985
Dubuque13509211
Dallas1128899
Pottawattamie11225174
Story1071448
Warren583891
Clinton561593
Cerro Gordo554093
Sioux517474
Webster515794
Muscatine4882106
Marshall486676
Des Moines467472
Wapello4338122
Buena Vista426940
Jasper421172
Plymouth403181
Lee382356
Marion366076
Jones300957
Henry294637
Bremer288461
Carroll286952
Boone268634
Crawford268440
Benton259855
Washington257251
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232651
Jackson225242
Clay216727
Kossuth216166
Tama211971
Delaware211143
Winneshiek198635
Page194522
Buchanan193833
Cedar192423
Hardin187444
Fayette186643
Wright186040
Hamilton181951
Harrison180073
Clayton171157
Butler166335
Madison164619
Mills163824
Floyd163442
Cherokee159338
Lyon158841
Poweshiek157036
Allamakee152952
Hancock150334
Iowa149824
Winnebago144531
Cass139255
Calhoun138913
Grundy137333
Emmet135841
Jefferson133435
Shelby131537
Sac130920
Union130035
Louisa129849
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126643
Chickasaw124817
Franklin123523
Guthrie123332
Humboldt119626
Palo Alto113623
Howard104922
Montgomery103638
Clarke100924
Keokuk96732
Monroe96431
Unassigned9560
Ida91535
Adair87332
Pocahontas85822
Davis85225
Monona82931
Osceola78916
Greene78011
Lucas77923
Worth7618
Taylor66812
Fremont6269
Decatur6169
Ringgold56424
Van Buren56418
Wayne54423
Audubon53411
Adams3444
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