On Monday, a Washington correspondent for New York Magazine fired off a particularly nasty question at President Trump, asking, “If an American president loses more Americans over the course of six weeks than died over the entirety of the Vietnam war, does he deserve to be reelected?”
Olivia Nuzzi’s vitriol triggered Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary to President George W. Bush, and as adroit and intelligent as anyone who has ever served in that position, to rip Nuzzi, tweeting, “It’s clown questions like this that can make the briefing a waste of time. The only point of that question was to provoke. Not learn anything new. Not provide information to viewers. The point was to get under Trump’s skin. Good to see potus rose above and didn’t take the bait.”
It’s clown questions like this that can make the briefing a waste of time. The only point of that question was to provoke. Not learn anything new. Not provide information to viewers. The point was to get under Trump’s skin. Good to see potus rose above and didn’t take the bait. https://t.co/ElNzIKvG36
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) April 27, 2020
Nuzzi tweeted back, “Oh, shut the f*** up.”
what a terrible question and what a petty response to fair criticism. pic.twitter.com/fGtLpcEngp
— Nathan Brand (@NathanBrandWA) April 28, 2020
Trump’s response to Nuzzi was quite measured and gracious, as he pointed out that even one life lost was too many:
So, we’ve lost a lot of people, but if you look at what original projections were, 2.2 million, we’re probably headed to 60, 000, 70,000, far too many — one person is too many for this — and I think we’ve made a lot of really good decisions. The big decision was closing the border or doing the ban, people coming in from China, obviously other than American citizens which had to come in; you can’t say you can’t come back to your country.
I think we’ve made a lot of good decisions; I think that Mike Pence and the task force have done a fantastic job; I think that everybody working on the ventilators; you see what we’ve done there, have done unbelievable. The press doesn’t talk about ventilators anymore; they just don’t want to talk about ‘em. And that’s okay; but the reason they don’t want to talk — that was a subject that nobody would get off of. They don’t want to talk about ‘em.
We’re in the same position on testing; we are lapping the world on testing and the world is coming to us. As I said, they’re coming to us saying, “What are you doing? How did you it?” We’re helping them. So, no, I think we’ve done a great job, and one person, I will say this: one person is too many. Thank you all very much. Thank you.
In March 2017, after then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer told April Ryan, the White House reporter for American Urban Radio Networks, to stop shaking her head, Nuzzi laid into Spicer, tweeting,”Sean Spicer is rude to everyone, but it’s difficult to imagine him speaking to a white, male reporter the way he spoke to April Ryan today.”
Sean Spicer is rude to everyone, but it's difficult to imagine him speaking to a white, male reporter the way he spoke to April Ryan today.
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) March 28, 2017
Video of Nuzzi’s question of Trump on Monday below:
WATCH New York Magazine “reporter” Olivia Nuzzi crack a smirk as she asks @realDonaldTrump if he should be re-elected because Americans have died due to the coronavirus pandemic that emanated from China.pic.twitter.com/hmXjl29KeI
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) April 28, 2020
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