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White House counselor Kellyanne Conway shut down a snarky CBS reporter who questioned President Donald Trump’s council being made up of “very wealthy white men.”
Conway had a limited amount of patience for CBS News’ Paula Reid during a press conference outside of the White House on Wednesday, saying she doesn’t know “what’s happened” to the journalist and her reporting.
Reid had also managed to irritate the president and Dr. Anthony Fauci during the daily coronavirus task force press briefings earlier this week. The White House reporter stopped the infectious disease expert in his tracks on Monday when she asked if he was “voluntarily” clarifying his remarks after he had appeared to blame Trump for not acting sooner on warnings about the pandemic.
“Are you doing this voluntarily or did the president or the vice president ask?” Reid asked.
“Everything I do is voluntary. Please. Don’t even imply that,” Fauci fired back.
Reid felt the wrath of the president as well when she suggested that the Trump administration had not done enough in its response to the coronavirus outbreak early on. Following her combative questions, Trump called Reid “disgraceful” and a “fake.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 14, 2020
Reid then earned a direct rebuke from Conway on Wednesday after her inane comment about the president’s newly announced task force focused on reopening the economy. Conway answered questions from reporters shortly after Trump had announced members of the new council.
“Can you clarify, the president’s council on re-opening the country, how is it that going to work?” Reid asked.
“The president has listed off a long list of names yesterday, but how will they work, how will they make recommendations to the president? And is there any thought to diversifying that council beyond what is a group of very wealthy white men? Not exactly those who have been hit the hardest,” she added.
Conway responded, ignoring Reid’s obvious narrative, saying the president “has four calls with those sectors even today, banking, healthcare, technology, sports, quite a number of them.”
“I think that list is probably less exhaustive than it is illustrative, and there will be other people raising their hand and saying ‘How can I help?’” she added, aiming part of her response at Reid’s jab. “We don’t pick who the heads of the sports commission leagues or which CEOs of companies want to help.”
“But you do pick your taskforce — you could pick small businesses, you could pick other people or groups from a diverse group of voices,” Reid pressed.
Conway paused a moment before her response, clearly annoyed by the reporter’s grandstanding.
“Paula, I actually don’t know what’s happened to you, respectfully,” she said icily.
“I don’t know why you’ve changed, and you’re in the briefing room screaming at Anthony Fauci and the president of the United States. I, frankly, think it’s unbecoming,” Conway added.
“But that aside, I will answer the question about how they’re going to help America, which is why I’m here,” she said as Reid attempted to interrupt again, calmly leveling a final blow.
“I think you’re here for a different reason, it seems, these days,” Conway said. “I’m here and the council has stepped up because they want to help Americans.”
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