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CNN’s Acosta After Coronavirus Briefing: ‘This Was a Different Donald Trump Tonight, I Think He Gets It’

CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta joined Anderson Cooper 360 after the coronavirus press conference Tuesday evening to outline the “chilling” nature of the presser – while also stating that the tone shift from President Donald Trump, leads him to believe the president now understands the severity of the coronavirus.

Acosta began, “Anderson, I will tell you, in the seven years I have covered the White House, that is the most stunning briefing I have ever sat through. To have public health officials come in and try to explain to the American people that they need to come to grips with the fact – or the very strong likelihood that we’re going to see 100,000 to 200,000 Americans die over the next couple months from the coronavirus.”

“I have to tell you, it was just downright chilling,” Acosta stated.

Acosta then highlighted the tone shift from Trump, who in late February billed the coronavirus as just like the flu.

“Now, I will say in terms of what the president was saying in the briefing room, this was President Trump changing his tune on the coronavirus. At one point he said it’s not the flu, it’s vicious,” the White House correspondent continued.

Later in the interview, Acosta pointed out that he believes Trump is “scared right now,” which the journalist pointed out could be felt in the White House briefing room.

“But I have to tell you, Anderson, I’ve never seen President Trump like this. I know people might say, well, you know, I can’t ever trust him. He’s a phony and so on. People may say that. Anderson, have to tell you sitting in that room, that close to him, I’ve never seen President Trump like this. I think, to some extent, he is scared right now, Anderson, and we could all feel that in the room.”

Acosta expressed that the Trump on display at the presser late Tuesday evening was “different,” while adding that “I think he gets it.”

“I think there are going to be so many lessons learned moving forward, Anderson. The stark message we got in the briefing room this evening is unmistakable. This country is about to go through a horrendous, terrible experience, and I have to tell you, people may not believe the president when he says any of this, and I have been — you and I’ve been, you know, pretty critical of him from time to time.”

“This was a different Donald Trump tonight, I think he gets it, Anderson,” Acosta concluded.

Watch above, via CNN.

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