NBC News’ Peter Alexander Defends ‘False Hope’ Question at Virus Briefing: Was a ‘Softball’ for Trump


Appearing Friday on MSNBC, NBC News White House correspondent Peter Alexander insisted that his question to President Donald Trump — suggesting his briefings on the Chinese coronavirus were offering “false hope” to Americans — had no ill intent.

A transcript is as follows: 

ANDREA MITCHELL: Peter, I’ve sat in that hot seat. You were doing your job. You were asking the questions Americans want to have answers to. You were asking questions that were fact-based and [President Trump] exploded against you. I don’t know how you maintained the calm that you did, and you asked follow-up questions. You asked the same question of [Vice President] Pence later, and he gave you an answer about what [he] should do.

PETER ALEXANDER: As you witnessed, Mike Pence, in that same interview, answered the same question when I asked him what he says to Americans about being scared. He said, “Don’t be afraid, be vigilant.” You and I are baseball fans. I’m sure there are plenty of baseball fans watching out there now. In TV terms, we call this a “softball.” I was trying to provide the president an opportunity to reassure the millions of Americans, members of my own family and my neighbors and my community and plenty of people sitting at home right now – this was his opportunity to do that, to provide a sort of positive or uplifting message.


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