President Trump has given a cryptic answer to questions over a tweet he wrote which appeared to accuse Barack Obama of “the biggest political crime in American history”.
In another bizarre White House press conference performance, which was held in the Rose Garden yesterday to allow for social distancing, Mr Trump was challenged by the Washington Post’s Philip Rucker.
“Mr President, in one of your Mothers’ Day tweets, you appear to accuse President Obama of ‘the biggest political crime in American history by far’ - those were your words,” Mr Rucker said, “What crime exactly are you accusing President Obama of committing, and do you believe the justice department should prosecute him?”
“Obamagate,” President Trump replied.
“It’s been going on for a long time. It’s been going on from before I even got elected.
“It’s a disgrace that it happened, and if you look at what’s gone one and if you look at now all of this information that’s being released, and from what I understand, it’s only the beginning.
“Some terrible things happened and it should never be allowed to happen on (sic) our country again. And you’ll be seeing what’s going on over the next- over the coming weeks, and I wish you’d write honestly about it but unfortunately you choose not to do so,” Mr Trump finished.
“What is the crime exactly, that you’re accusing him of?” Mr Rucker pressed.
“You know what the crime is,” the President replied, “The crime is very obvious to everybody, all you have to do is read the newspapers - except yours.”
Mr Trump then ended the press conference early after a tense exchange with CBS News White House correspondent Weijia Jiang.
The Asian-American reporter told the President: “You have said many times that the US is doing far better than any other country when it comes to testing.”
“Yes,” Mr Trump replied.
“Why does that matter? Why is this a global competition to you if every day, Americans are still losing their lives, and we’re still seeing more cases every day?” Ms Jiang continued.
“Well they’re losing their lives everywhere in the world, and maybe that’s a question you should ask China,” Mr Trump said, “Don’t ask me, ask China that question, okay? When you ask them that question you may get a very unusual answer.”
The President then invited a second journalist to ask a question, but Ms Jiang then asked: “Sir, why are you saying that to me specifically?”
“I’m not saying it specifically to anybody,” replied the President, “I’m saying it to anybody that would ask a nasty question like that.”
Mr Trump then called on a third journalist in a different section of the Rose Garden to ask a question. When the second journalist protested that she had not been given her chance to quiz him, the President said: “Ladies and Gentleman, thank you very much. I appreciate it,” before leaving the podium and walking inside the West Wing.
The United States currently has more than 1.3 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 81,000 Americans have died from the disease. Yesterday another 17,776 people tested positive for Covid-19.
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