Watch Trump Freeze Out CNN’s Kaitlan Collins at Briefing in Favor of Multiple Questions From Fox News, Reuters
President Donald Trump went out of his way to avoid taking questions from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins during Thursday’s White House coronavirus task force briefing — opting instead to call on reporters from Fox News and Reuters twice.
Collins — who was seated all by herself in the center of the front row, thanks to the social distancing guidelines being implemented in the briefing room — tried on several occasions to get Trump to recognize her. But the president completely blew Collins off. Instead, he took questions from nearly every other reporter in the sparsely-populated room. And after going to them for the first two questions, Trump called on both John Roberts of Fox News and Steve Holland of Reuters a second time later in the session.
At one point, Collins interjected.
“Two questions for you, Mr. President,” she said.
“I didn’t call you,” Trump said. “I called this gentleman.”
Trump pointed to a reporter seated in the row behind Collins.
“Who are you with?” Trump asked.
“I’m with Bloomberg,” the reporter replied.
The president couldn’t let the moment pass without taking a shot at former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg — whom he repeatedly chided during his presidential run earlier this year.
“How’s Michael doing?” Trump said, grinning.
Collins tried at several other points to jump in, but was shut out. Trump then turned the briefing over to Vice President Mike Pence and left the room. As he walked out, the CNN correspondent began asking her question. But the president, with his back turned, did not acknowledge her.
This snub comes after tense exchanges between Collins and Trump in recent days. On March 19, Collins grilled the president about the shortage of masks in hospitals across the country.
“How is that acceptable?” Collins said.
Trump demurred, and kicked the question over to Pence.
Also, on March 24, Collins tried to pin Trump down on whether the medical experts on his task force were on board with reopening the country by Easter — a date he’d just thrown out as a target.
Watch above, via CNN and Fox News.
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