- Fox News
- President Donald Trump got into a brief verbal spat with ABC News’ chief Washington correspondent, Jonathan Karl, during a press conference on Monday.
- Karl, who recently published a White House tell-all, told Trump that the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general served in the Obama administration.
- “You mean the Obama administration,” Trump said mockingly. “Thank you for telling me that. See, there’s the typical fake-news deal.”
- “Look, you’re a third-rate reporter,” Trump told Karl. “And what you just said is a disgrace, OK?”
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President Donald Trump got into a brief verbal spat with ABC News’ chief Washington correspondent, Jonathan Karl, during a White House press conference on Monday afternoon, saying the reporter “will never make it.”
Trump, who was responding to questions about his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, discussed the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general’s report warning of severe supplies shortages for hospitals in the US, including testing kits and safety gear for physicians.
Trump downplayed the warnings in the report and said the country was doing an “incredible job” in addressing testing shortages. Trump argued that the federal government should not be responsible for medical necessities, such as coronavirus testing, provided in local hospitals.
“States are supposed to be doing testing. Hospitals are supposed to be doing testing,” Trump said. “We’re the federal government. We’re not supposed to be standing on street corners doing testing. They go to doctors. They go to hospitals.”
Adm. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health, offered a few remarks and questioned whether the release of the report on Monday was prudent.
“I don’t know the inspector general. I don’t know that person,” Giroir said. “I’ll tell you one thing I have a problem with: If there was such a problem that she knew about or he knew about on March 23 and 24, why did I find out about the test from them on the news media at 8 o’clock this morning?”
He added, “But that’s a discussion for the future.”
The department’s Office of the Inspector General is led by Christi Grimm, who assumed her position as principal deputy inspector general in January. She has decades of experience with the office, dating back to 1999.
As Giroir walked away from the lectern, Trump stepped in. “How long has that person been in government?” the president asked the group of reporters.
Karl, who recently published a White House tell-all, answered that Grimm “did serve in the previous administration.”
“Oh, you didn’t tell me that!” Trump said sarcastically. “Oh, I see. You didn’t tell me that, Jon.”
Trump added mockingly: “You mean the Obama administration. Thank you for telling me that. See, there’s the typical fake-news deal.”
“I told you when she was appointed,” Karl replied.
“Look, you’re a third-rate reporter,” Trump said. “And what you just said is a disgrace, OK?”
Trump added: “Thank you very much, Jon. Thank you very much. You will never make it.”
In his book, “Front Row at the Trump Show,” released last week, Karl detailed the inner machinations of the White House, including Trump’s behavior and confrontations with his senior staff.