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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: 441935

Reported Deaths: 5885
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin918591461
Ramsey39405729
Dakota32551324
Anoka30638354
Washington19827221
Stearns17686184
St. Louis13453237
Scott1178693
Wright11485101
Olmsted1024870
Sherburne812364
Carver686636
Clay643278
Rice595266
Kandiyohi551069
Blue Earth533833
Crow Wing476573
Otter Tail449860
Chisago446331
Benton414885
Winona383946
Douglas370366
Nobles364646
Mower358026
Goodhue340757
Polk326754
McLeod321644
Morrison308743
Beltrami305746
Lyon298735
Itasca281143
Becker279438
Isanti279440
Carlton276942
Steele26879
Pine263813
Freeborn237219
Todd230029
Nicollet222136
Brown212334
Mille Lacs211645
Le Sueur206515
Cass203823
Meeker197433
Waseca187515
Martin168226
Wabasha16712
Roseau164916
Hubbard146937
Redwood138527
Renville136139
Houston133213
Dodge13134
Chippewa130632
Cottonwood125118
Fillmore12084
Wadena118214
Rock108511
Sibley10757
Aitkin106633
Watonwan10548
Faribault103214
Kanabec96818
Pennington95915
Pipestone92522
Yellow Medicine92514
Murray8585
Jackson84510
Swift82617
Pope7355
Marshall70115
Stevens6968
Clearwater68114
Lac qui Parle65216
Lake62215
Wilkin6179
Koochiching57910
Lincoln4771
Big Stone4513
Unassigned43568
Grant4247
Norman4218
Mahnomen4077
Kittson36619
Red Lake3154
Traverse2433
Lake of the Woods1741
Cook1130

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 300884

Reported Deaths: 4197
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk44949440
Linn17563269
Scott15228161
Black Hawk13552228
Woodbury12896175
Johnson1191749
Dubuque11229148
Pottawattamie8863112
Dallas874169
Story857433
Webster464768
Cerro Gordo458766
Sioux452451
Clinton445461
Warren430637
Marshall424561
Buena Vista389029
Muscatine382275
Des Moines377340
Plymouth347967
Wapello336796
Jasper315955
Lee310828
Marion298852
Jones268949
Henry262130
Carroll252233
Bremer240048
Crawford227622
Boone214116
Washington213531
Benton207543
Mahaska189936
Jackson189631
Tama184757
Dickinson183225
Delaware171136
Kossuth169241
Clay165319
Wright161724
Fayette157022
Buchanan156920
Hamilton156828
Hardin153129
Harrison152961
Winneshiek150819
Clayton149848
Cedar149119
Butler145423
Page143115
Floyd137236
Cherokee137125
Mills135216
Lyon133132
Poweshiek131024
Hancock127924
Allamakee125927
Iowa122122
Calhoun12159
Jefferson118623
Grundy118522
Winnebago117229
Madison11639
Mitchell114634
Louisa113729
Cass111741
Chickasaw110111
Sac110115
Emmet109931
Appanoose108838
Union107922
Humboldt103919
Guthrie102124
Shelby101026
Franklin99818
Unassigned9370
Palo Alto8969
Keokuk84225
Montgomery82722
Howard81119
Monroe79918
Pocahontas77211
Clarke7717
Ida73530
Greene6837
Davis68221
Adair68120
Lucas6458
Osceola6349
Monona62316
Taylor5889
Worth5873
Fremont5005
Van Buren49112
Decatur4744
Ringgold4229
Wayne41321
Audubon4118
Adams2923
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