Politics

WATCH: Trump levels ‘third-rate reporter’ Jonathan Karl

The president didn't hold any punches...

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President Donald Trump hammered Jonathan Karl, chief White House correspondent for ABC News, after the reporter failed to note that a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) inspector general report suggesting hospitals were short on coronavirus tests was produced by an Obama-era official.

The president seemed to suggest HHS Principal Deputy Inspector General Christi Grimm may have had a political motivation for the report.

“When was she appointed?” Trump asked. “When was she appointed?” Karl didn’t have the answer at this point, stating: “I’m not sure when she was appointed.”

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Disputing the Report

Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir discussed Grimm’s report. He noted flaws due to it being produced very early on in the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus. “I don’t know the inspector general, I don’t know that person,” Giroir said.

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“I’ll tell you one thing that I have a problem with: If there was such a problem that she knew about or he knew about on March 23 or 24th, why did I find out about the test from them on the news media at 8 0-clock this morning?” he added. Giroir explained that contrary to Grimm’s report, “testing is really in a good position right now.”

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Remember how President Trump earlier asked Karl about when Grimm was appointed? Trump asked Karl again: “How long has that person been in government?” Karl’s answer was different this time: “She did serve in the previous administration,” Karl responded. And Trump was less than pleased…

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Karl and the Resistance

President Trump found the omission of information to be curious at best. “Oh, you didn’t tell me that. Oh, I see,” Trump quipped. “You didn’t tell me that, Jon. You didn’t tell me that she did serve in the previous admin, you mean the Obama Administration. Thank you for telling me that. See, there’s a typical fake news deal.”

Karl insisted that he simply replied to the president’s question about when she was appointed to her current position. “You’re a third rate reporter, and what you just said is a disgrace,” a fuming Trump shot back. “You asked me, you said, ‘sir, she just got appointed.’ Take a look at what you said. Now I said, ‘when did they — when did this person — how long in government?’ Well, it was appointed in the Obama Administration,” he continued. “Thank you very much, Jon. Thank you very much. You will never make it.”

The exchange is rather remarkable since Karl, just days earlier, made news for comments regarding CNN reporter Jim Acosta. “We can be tough, we can call out things that are not true, we can be aggressive in our questioning,” Karl said, “but I don’t think we should act like we are part of the resistance.” Neglecting to mention a negative report has been issued by an Obama-era holdover might qualify as acting in the same manner.

This piece originally appeared in ThePoliticalInsider.com and is used by permission.

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