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In a first for his presidency, President Donald Trump slammed a reporter on Thursday specifically for speaking so disrespectfully to the president of the United States.
While Trump has forcefully pushed back on the media’s discourteous antics numerous times over the course of his presidency, he’s never done so by purposefully highlighting his rank as the head of state and government of the United States.
While speaking with reporters from the White House after taking part in a Thanksgiving teleconference with members of the military, he was asked if he’ll concede if the Electoral College votes for Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden on Dec. 14.
“If they do, they made a mistake, because this election was a fraud,” the president replied.
“But will you?” the reporter, later identified as Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason, pressed even as the president was speaking.
“Just so you understand, this election was a fraud. They have Biden beating Obama and Obama’s vote in areas that mattered in terms of the election, in swing states, and yet he’s losing to Obama all over the place. But he’s beating Obama in swing states, which are the states that mattered for purposes of the election. So no, I can’t say that at all,” the president continued.
“You won’t concede?” Mason pressed again, talking over the president.
“I think it’s a possibility. They’re trying to …. look, between you people …,” the president tried to continue, only to be spoken over by Mason yet again.
And that was when Trump “released the Kraken,” so to speak.
“Don’t talk to me that way!” he bellowed in anger.
“Sorry, sir,” Mason meekly responded.
“You’re just a lightweight! Don’t talk to me that way! I’m the president of the United States! Don’t ever talk to the president that way!” the president added.
He then moved on to another reporter.
The timing of the president’s eruption of anger was notable because only three days earlier, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of all people, had slammed the media for the constant disrespect they show the president.
Speaking on New York public radio station WAMC, he expressed bewilderment with their “nastier tone,” “unprofessional” behavior, and “really biased questions.”
“[T]here is a nastier tone now, with the press. … There’s a disrespect that never existed. … You know, the way they question President Trump at some of these press conferences is just, I’ve never heard that tone with the president,” he said.
When the interviewer, Alan Chartock, pushed back by arguing that the president “deserves” the lousy treatment, Cuomo surprisingly doubled down.
“Well, yeah, except there is supposed to be a decorum to the institution, right. … So just because a person is a jerk doesn’t mean that person doesn’t count. I think the same thing is true with an elected official. You want to say, ‘Well, I don’t like the president and I disrespect him,’ I know, but it’s still the office of the president,” he said.
The New York governor’s stunning defense of a man he’s spent the entire year ruthlessly bashing was inspired by his own bad experiences with the media.
‘You’re confused!’ Gov Cuomo goes off on reporters trying to get specifics on school closures https://t.co/FwZMMpdaSL
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 19, 2020
After the president finished sparring with Mason during Thursday’s briefing, he was asked by another reporter whether he’s going to refuse “to leave this building” if Biden’s voted in as president by the Electoral College.
The president promptly replied, “Certainly I will [leave]. Certainly I will. And you know that.”
The bombshell admission was a stunning repudiation of weeks worth of paranoid fear-mongering by critics in the media who’ve claimed the president is committing a “coup” against democracy and intends to wield power in perpetuity like a dictator.
There had even been talk of literally dragging the president out of the White House, and this week The Boston Globe spoke with a hostage negotiator, an animal control officer and a “toddler whisperer” for advice on how to “lure” Trump out of the White House.
Even former President Barack Hussein Obama got in on the delusional fear-mongering, jokingly telling comedian and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel that the Navy SEALS may have to “dig him out.”
After explaining that no, he doesn’t plan to hole up in the White House, the president did note Thursday that “between now and Jan. 20th, a lot of things” will be happening — and those things could conceivably change the projected outcome of the 2020 election.
“Massive fraud has been found. We’re like a third world country. We’re using computer equipment that can be hacked. They talk about glitches. How many glitches did they find? A glitch, oh gee, we had a glitch, 5,000 votes. In all cases, right? In all cases, the votes went from Trump to Biden. They didn’t go from Biden,” he said.
He added, “When you look at the massive discrepancy that we’ll be revealing, that’s already been revealed, everybody knows it, they just don’t want to play it. … I’m not saying we caught 23 dead people, but we were short 20,000 votes.”
“No, no. We have tens of thousands votes more than we need in all cases. Okay? In all cases. I think you’re going to see something. I think it’s going to be a very big story. … It’s going to be not only a big story, it’s the most important story of our time.”
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