LISTEN: Trump Attacks ‘Scum’ Reporters at Private Event, Suggests ‘Spy’ Whistleblower Should Be Punished for ‘Treason’
President Donald Trump lashed out angrily at reporters during a private breakfast and appeared to say the whistleblower who filed a complaint against him should be punished for “treason.”
“I want to know who’s the person, who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the information? Because that’s close to a spy,” Trump said. “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”
The Los Angeles Times’ Eli Stokols reported Thursday that Trump went after the whistleblower during a breakfast in New York for filing a complaint about his conversation with the Ukrainian president.
New York Times correspondent Maggie Haberman also reported on Trump’s remarks, noting the president seemed to suggest some sort of punishment for “spies” – which would be the death penalty, historically speaking.
Haberman also spoke briefly with CNN’s Brianna Keilar Thursday afternoon, telling her “we are heading into uncharted territory” and that his comments stunned some people in the room.
Trump also bashed the press in his remarks, and was egged on by someone in attendance shouting “fake news.”
“You know, these animals in the press,” Trump said. “They’re animals, some of the worst human beings you’ll ever meet.”
“They’re scum,” Trump continued. “Many of them are scum, and then you have some good reporters, but not many of them, I’ll be honest with you.”
Trump also attacked Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden and complained about being investigated over the whistleblower complaint.
“Then you have sleepy Joe Biden who’s dumb as a rock,” Trump said. “This guy was dumb on his best day and he’s not having his best day right now. He’s dumb as a rock. So you have sleepy Joe and his kid, who’s got a lot of problems, he got thrown out of the Navy — look, I’m not going to, it’s a problem…so we won’t get into why.”
UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times later obtained audio of Trump’s comments, included above.
Listen above, via The Los Angeles Times.
[Photo via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]
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