President Donald Trump demanded a reporter remove his mask while asking a question during a Labor Day news conference, but the journalist politely refused.
Reuters reporter Jeff Mason instead offered to speak louder, New York Post reports.
“You’re going to have to take that off, please. Just, you can take it off. You’re, how many feet are you away?” Trump said.
“I’ll speak a lot louder,” Mason responded, but Trump wasn’t having it.
“Well, if you don’t take it off, you are very muffled. So if you would take it off, it would be a lot easier,” Trump insisted.
“I’ll just speak a lot louder. Is that better?,” asked Mason, who was wearing a protective mask per CDC guidelines.
Trump, visibly annoyed with an audible sigh, said, “It’s better. Yeah — it’s better.”
Watch the moment via the Twitter video below:
When he later took a question from a reporter who was not wearing a mask, Trump said, “You sound so clear, as opposed to everybody else where they refused.”
During the news conference on Monday, Trump defended his administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also slammed his Nov. 3 presidential opponent Joe Biden and his VP running mate, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris.
“Biden and his very liberal running mate, the most liberal person in Congress by the way – is not a competent person in my opinion, would destroy this country and would destroy this economy – should immediately apologize for the reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric that they are talking right now,” said Trump, adding: “It undermines science.”
Harris previously explained why she would reject Trump’s coronavirus vaccine.
“I think that’s going to be an issue for all of us,” Harris said in an interview Sunday with CNN’s Dana Bash. “Because he’s looking at an election coming up in less than 60 days and he’s grasping for whatever he can get to pretend that he has been a leader on this issue when he is not.”
She added, “I would not trust Donald Trump and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he’s talking about,” Harris said. “If past is prologue [then] they will not. [Scientists] will be muzzled, they’ll be suppressed, they will be sidelined.”
She also addressed Trump politicizing the issue of wearing a mask.
“Nobody likes to wear a mask,” Harris said, adding “we each have to sacrifice for the sake of the nation and the collective.”
Trump first publicly wore a mask on July 11 during his visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, per Wingrove.
During the press conference on Monday, Trump once again rejected the controversial report in The Atlantic that alleges he referred to fallen U.S. soldiers as “suckers” and “losers.”
“The story is a hoax,” Trump said. “Who would say a thing like that? Only an animal would say a thing like that.”
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