President Donald Trump acknowledged Wednesday at the White House that China’s coronavirus numbers appeared to be a “little bit on the light side” but denied he received a classified intelligence report that the country had under-reported their fatality numbers from the virus.
Trump was questioned about the report by a Bloomberg reporter after their news outlet reported published details of the classified report earlier Wednesday.
“We did not receive that, but their numbers seemed to be a little bit on the light side, and I’m being nice when I say that relative to what we witnessed and what was reported,” Trump said, appearing to be diplomatic about his statements on China.
The president said he spoke with President Xi Jinping about the virus, repeating that he had a good relationship with the Chinese leader and they would be purchasing billions of farming products.
“As to whether their numbers were accurate, I’m not an accountant from China,” he concluded.
The president said that both he and Xi Jinping knew where the virus came from.
“I think we all understand where it came from, and we don’t have to make a big deal out of it,” he said.
The president added that he viewed it as a positive thing that Chinese propaganda was pushing a narrative they were taking a global leadership role in fighting the virus.
“I view that as a positive, if they are helping other countries,” he said.