President Donald Trump lashed out at the press in a marathon White House briefing on Monday night, after facing criticism over his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The coronavirus death toll in the United States has reached 23,000, and more than 500,000 are thought to be infected.
At the start of the conference, Mr Trump played a video for reporters that defended his response to the crisis.
According to the BBC’s John Sopel, who was present at the event, it “bore all the hallmarks of a campaign video”.
He said that while the video played, Trump was “scowling at us, then pointing and smiling derisively and then smirking”.
Users on social media have described the display as a “meltdown”.
When one reporter, who was quoted in the video and present in the room, told the President that her comments had been edited and taken out of context, Trump called her a “fake” and described her as “disgraceful”.
In an article for the BBC, Mr Sopel called the press conference “the most dizzying, jaw-dropping, eyeball-popping, head-spinning news conference I have ever attended.
“And I was at Bill Clinton’s news conference in 1998 when he faced the press for the first time over his relationship with Monica Lewinksy.”
When asked whether he would lift coronavirus restrictions across America early, against the wishes of state governments, Mr Trump said: “When someone is the President of the United States, the authority is total.”
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