Apr 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump shows montage praising his coronavirus response at press briefing

Trump pointing to a TV
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump aired a montage at Monday's coronavirus press briefing splicing together compliments from governors and clips of various media commentators downplaying the severity of the eventual pandemic in January and February.

Why it matters: The video, which resembled a campaign ad, was aired at a briefing in which the president and his advisers are generally expected to provide critical public health updates about the coronavirus.

  • Asked why he felt the need to show the montage, which he admitted was put together by White House social media director Dan Scavino, Trump responded: "We are getting fake news and I like to have it corrected."
  • Trump said that he has been "brutalized" by the press, pointing specifically to a mammoth investigation by the New York Times this weekend that found the president squandered precious time and ignored warnings about the threat of the virus in January and February.

Between the lines: The montage included at least one misleading edit, using audio from the New York Times' Maggie Haberman that explains that Trump's decision to restrict travel from China in February was widely criticized at the time, but was "probably effective" at the end of the day.

  • As Haberman explained on Twitter, she went on to say that Trump "treated that travel limitation as a Mission Accomplished moment. And then he did basically nothing for over a month. Which was our story yesterday."

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