Tuesday on ABC’s “The View,” network political reporter Jonathan Karl, the head of the White House Correspondents’ Association, said President Donald Trump could insult him “all he wants,” adding that it didn’t matter.
Monday at the White House coronavirus task force briefing, Trump called Karl a “third rate reporter,” and said, “You will never make it.”
Karl said, “Well sometimes you get the sense that the president thinks every question should start with, why are you doing such a great job, Mr. President? But look, this was a question about a brand new report from the Health and Human Services inspector general that was based on a survey of more than 300 hospitals. So this wasn’t the inspector general giving out an opinion. This was a survey of hospitals and how they’re handling the pandemic, and what it found, among other things, is that there are long wait times to get test results back from laboratories. In some cases, a week or more. So that was the question. it’s a really good question.”
He continued, “At virtually every one of these briefings, there is a moment where he lashes out in very personal terms at a reporter. He’s done it to me now twice. He’s done it to several of my colleagues. You know, I don’t know if it’s strategic or if he is just truly consumed with how he is perceived. I’ve got this new book out that talks about how the president seems to see his entire presidency as to a degree the way that he saw his reality show. He wants to see the reviews. He talks about the ratings all the time, and he’s very much paying attention to the critics, which would be the press. I have to say I hear that he is spending a good chunk of each day complaining to his top advisers about the way his response to this crisis is being portrayed in the news media. He truly cares about this and is, to a degree, obsessed about it.”
He added, “We go to talk to the experts. We go to put the questions to the president as well but to that team. It may be frustrating. It may be tempting to walk out. Look, he can insult me all he wants. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter. What matters is getting to the bottom of what is happening with the federal response and how people should be responding to this crisis. That’s the story.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN