NBC’s Peter Alexander Addresses His Question That Prompted Trump to Erupt: ‘In TV Terms, We Call This a Soft Ball’
NBC White House correspondent Peter Alexander addressed President Donald Trump calling him a “horrible reporter” in an appearance on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell Friday afternoon — billing his question that sparked the attack as a “softball” pitched to give Trump the opportunity to reassure Americans.
Alexander, during his post-briefing MSNBC hit, also noted the president does not having to face many of the challenges Americans are facing due to the coronavirus.
Mitchell began the interview by commending Alexander’s line of fact-based questioning.
“Peter, I’ve sat in that hot seat,” Mitchell said. “You were you doing your job. You were asking the questions Americans want to have answers to. You were asking questions that are fact-based. And he exploded against you, and I don’t know how you maintained the calm that you did and you asked follow-up questions.”
Alexander responded, “As you witnessed Mike Pence later answered that in the same conversation, the same question when I asked him what he said to Americans who are scared, he said don’t be afraid, be vigilant.”
Alexander then likened his question to a “softball” which he asked so the president could reassure Americans across the country.
“In TV terms, we call this a softball,” Alexander said. “I was trying to provide the president an opportunity to reassure the millions of Americans, members of my own family, and my neighbors in my community and plenty of people sitting at home right now, this was his opportunity to do that – to provide a positive or uplifting message.”
“Instead, you saw the president’s answer to that question right now. It does go to one of the fundamental concerns. Americans are looking for a sense of confidence in their leaders at the moment, as many are glued to their TVs or stuck behind closed doors in their homes surrounded only by loved ones right now,” Alexander continued.
“I think it does reveal a frustration, perhaps an anxiety about his own political prospects, at about a situation that’s hard to keep in control as we witnessed it continues to spiral at this time, Andrea.”
“The bottom line is this is a president whose experiences in life are very different than most Americans across this country right now. Not a person who likely worries about finances or has worried about his future, not a person worried about where he’ll find a paycheck for his bills or his rent,” he said. “And as evidenced by the president suggesting that an opportunity to provide for Americans some reassurance about how they should feel right now, the president instead took it out on me.”
Mitchell said that Alexander is doing “exactly what you should be doing and made us all proud here at NBC.”
Watch above, via MSNBC.
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