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Reporters rise to challenge Trump with aggressive questioning at today’s press briefing

Reporters rise to challenge Trump with aggressive questioning at today’s press briefing

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It’s time for your daily dose of Donald Trump attempting to read whatever his aides put in front of him, followed by a segment of the president avoiding answering questions truthfully from White House correspondents — in other words, it’s another Coronavirus Task Force briefing, minus any of the experts that could provide any actually valuable, propaganda-free information.

A couple of interesting trends emerged in today’s briefing.

Firstly, Trump is apparently quite concerned with the possibility that Joe Biden might beat him in Arizona, given all the time he spent praising the state and Governor Doug Ducey’s response to the pandemic.

Secondly, White House correspondents have apparently taken note of the effusive praise heaped upon Jonathan Swan of Axios for turning up the heat on the president as he pushed back at Trump’s fumbling command of the data surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak.

The questions from the press today were more pointed and were followed up with the reporters questioning Trump’s veracity quickly whenever he tried to weasel out of answering with facile lies.

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The president began today’s session with his usual casual racism in referring to COVID-19 as the “China virus” before starting the snore-fest section of the briefing where he poorly tries to read the prepared statement provided by his staff.

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The president’s Arizona fixation was quickly parried with facts by CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale in his Twitter feed.

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Having exhausted his perplexing praise of Arizona, Trump next moved onto his favorite topic of late — the formidable dangers of mail-in voting.

The president played fast and loose with the facts, citing mainstream media sources as the origin of his notions about the perils of postal balloting when the sources he claims DOnlt actually support his conclusions.

Here he is in his own words.

Does anyone else find it completely insane that the President of the United States at a Coronavirus Task Force briefing launches into the type of misinformation that has led even the folks at Facebook — always so hungry for his campaign’s ad dollars — to delete his posts for the first time today because he violated their policies on posting false info on COVID-19?

Well, here he is saying the exact same thing that got him banned on that social media platform in front of a live TV audience and the assembled reporters.

The correspondents really upped their game today, immediately questioning the president when he tried to pass off lies and holding his feet to the fire about his strange conspiratorial insinuation yesterday that the Beirut explosion was somehow an “attack.”

Trump reverted to his “I’m the president and I can do anything I want” schtick when asked about plans to skip an acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention and simply broadcast his nomination address from the White House, expressing budgetary concerns that don’t seem to affect his frequent golfing trips to his own resorts.

With reporters asking the difficult questions and not letting him off when he responded with obvious falsehoods, Trump was as anxious to end the briefing as we are to end his tenure.

At least the media is finally getting more aggressive with their questions, hoping for a clip that will go as viral as the Axios interview.

Maybe they’ll get their moment in tomorrow’s briefing.

At the very least, we can expect another session of lies and spin that serve no purpose in terms of informing the American people about the issues that matter to them.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Original reporting by Aaron Rupar at Vox and by Daniel Dale at CNN.

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