Jiang Weijia, White House correspondent for CBS News, asked the President why he saw corona virus testing as a global competition when more than 80,000 Americans had 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 he was two years old. “Don’t ask me. Ask the Chinese that question, okay?”
Trump tried to proceed by calling Kaitlan Collins, White House correspondent for CNN, but Jiang interrupted with further questions.
“Sir, why did you say that to me specifically?” asked Jiang, who looked surprised by Trump’s request.
“I’m telling you,” Trump answered. “I didn’t say it specifically to anyone. I said it to anyone who asked evil questions.”
“That’s not a bad question,” Jiang said. “Why is that important?”
Trump then looked again to take questions from other reporters.
Collins, who had let Jiang ask Trump a follow-up question, approached the microphone.
“I have two questions,” Collins said.
“No, it’s OK,” Trump answered.
“But you appointed me,” Collins said. “I have two questions, Mr. President. You call me.”
“Yes,” Trump said. “And you didn’t respond, and now I call the young woman behind.”
“I just want 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 criticisms of the behavior displayed.
“A very ugly, bad end to an hour’s appearance by the President at Rose Garden,” said Wolf Blitzer at CNN.
Some critics say Trump’s remarks on Jiang are racist. This is not the first time Jiang has been confronted with racist statements at the White House.
Other critics suggest the exchange is full of sexism.
“The President’s professionalism is always revealed most clearly when he interacts with women journalists,” tweeted Olivia Nuzzi, Washington correspondent for New York magazine.
A CNN spokesman declined to comment. A CBS News spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.