The extraordinary exchange, which occurred on Friday at the White House's daily coronavirus task force briefing, began when NBC News reporter Peter Alexander asked Trump whether he was giving Americans "false hope" by touting unproven drugs for treating Covid-19.
“What do you say to Americans, who are watching you right now, who are scared?” Alexander asked. The reporter cited the latest pandemic statistics showing thousands of Americans are now infected and millions are scared.
Erupting in anger, Trump unleashed a tirade: “I say that you’re a terrible reporter. That’s what I say. I think it’s a very nasty question and I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people.”
Trump continued by blasting NBC News and its parent company, Comcast.
“You're doing sensationalism," Trump charged. "And the same with NBC and Comcast. I don't call it Comcast. I call it 'Con-Cast.'"
Moments later, Kaitlan Collins, a White House correspondent for CNN, asked Trump if it was appropriate to embark on tirades against members of the news media during a public health crisis.
"You see yourself as a wartime President right now, leading the country through a pandemic that we are experiencing," Collins noted. "Do you think going off on Peter, going off on a network is appropriate when the country is going through something like this?"
Trump defended his verbal assault on Alexander, saying he's "not a good journalist" and launching into another rant against him.