Donald Trump scheduled a last-minute press conference at his Bedminster, NJ, golf club on Friday evening, in part to threaten to sign an executive order if Democrats don’t give in on demands for COVID-19 relief.
But when members of the White House pool traveling with the president showed up, standing in the back of the room were members and guests at the country club, many of them not wearing masks.
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Aside from the clear public health issues, the optics of POTUS addressing his country club members who pay at up to $350,000 to join while millions of Americans don't know how they'll cover rent this month as expanded unemployment benefits have expired is—an interesting choice. https://t.co/0Fl9ihm9do
— Kathryn Watson (@kathrynw5) August 7, 2020
Masks were handed out to the members just before the president arrived, but one reporter queried Trump on the scene.
“You said that the pandemic is disappearing, but we lost 6,000 Americans, and just in this room, you have dozens of people who are not following the guidelines in New Jersey,” the reporter said.
The Bedminster guests then started booing.
“You are wrong in that, because it is a political activity. They have exceptions, and it is also a peaceful protest,” Trump said, as the crowd then clapped.
Trump added, “To me they look like they pretty much all have masks on.”
By then, the press conference began to resemble a mini-rally, as Trump suggested that the club members were protesting the media and therefore exempt from state COVID-19 orders.
“They heard you were coming up, and they know the news is fake. They know that better than anybody,” he said.
He added, “If the press in this country were honest, it wasn’t corrupt it wasn’t fake, our country would be much further ahead.”
Masks have now been handed out to visitors who are observing the president’s press conference. pic.twitter.com/dCFo5Z0744
— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) August 7, 2020
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