President Donald Trump on Sunday went head-to-head with a CNN reporter during a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing. The president took issue with the reporter asking a question based only on a partial quote that failed to provide greater context.
"I'd also like to ask you about some comments you made on Friday," CNN White House Correspondent Jeremy Diamond said. "You were talking about governors of different states. You said, 'I want them to be appreciative.' You also said if they don't treat you right, you don't call."
The president shook his head. "I didn't say that."
"These are direct quotes, sir," Diamond replied, handing up his notes.
"That's not what I said. Excuse me," Trump said. "Take a look at what I said. I want them to be appreciative of me. Okay? Then you cut it off because it's fake news CNN."
Diamond attempted to repeat the quote but the president cut him off.
"Let me just finish. You just said it again and you know the answer's a lie," Trump said. "Your statement and your response and your answer is a lie because here's the story. You ready? I said I want you to be appreciative of me and then you go on and then I go on and you cut it off."
Diamond read the statement again, but this time finished the full quote.
"Thank you," Trump said with a smirk.
One of the issues that came up is whether or not President Trump calls governors he doesn't like.
"I don't call. No, I don't call. No, I don't call the governor of Washington, but Mike Pence calls and the head of FEMA calls. I don't stop them. Did I ever ask you to do anything negative, Mike, to Washington, the State of Washington?" Trump asked as he turned to the vice president.
He used the example of Michigan, a state he said he "loves" as a prime example.
"No, I don't have to call because," he shrugged, "I'm probably better off not because we don't get along. He's a failed presidential candidate. He's a nasty person. I don't like the governor of Washington. So you know who calls? I get Mike Pence to call. I get the head of FEMA to call. I get the admiral to call."
The main issue the president had was Diamond failing to mention the request of the quote where Trump said he wants the medical leaders and those on the front lines to be respected.
"When you read the rest you said if you don't appreciate me, you're not respecting these incredible people, the two admirals. You're not appreciating FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers who built 2,900 beds in three-and-a-half days and you're not appreciating all of the work that's been done," Trump clapped back. "And you're not appreciating these incredible individual people from private enterprises that are delivering things in numbers no one's ever seen."
"And that's why people aren't watching CNN very much anymore," the president said. "That's why they don't like it. That's why your ratings are no good."
Trump made a point that the reporter needed to finish his quote before continuing to "run with the lie."
"You didn't put that in there. And it said in there FEMA. And it said in there the Army Corps of Engineers. Because when they disrespect me, they're disrespecting our government and you know what? I don't mind if I'm disrespected but they can't disrespect the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA."
CNN's @JDiamond1 tries to play a "gotcha game" with President @realDonaldTrump and doesn't succeed!— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) March 29, 2020
He is then forced to read the president's FULL QUOTE, which shows that President Trump asked for people to be appreciative of everyone working to combat the #Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/uNWfZPgqUa