- The Washington Times - Friday, March 20, 2020

CNN’s John King launched into an expletive-punctuated condemnation of President Trump on Friday for what he sees as a “bulls— attack” on an industry peer.

At issue was Mr. Trump’s response to NBC’s Peter Alexander during a coronavirus briefing; the reporter mulled the possibility of the administration giving Americans a “false sense of hope” before asking how Mr. Trump might ease their fear.

“I say that you’re a terrible reporter,” Mr. Trump replied. “That’s what I say. I think that’s a very nasty question. And I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people. The American people are looking for answers and they’re looking for hope. You’re doing sensationalism.”

Mr. King used airtime on Friday to lambaste the president for the exchange. 

“This is a Trump trademark,” Mr. King said, the Daily Caller reported. “This is a Trump trademark. It was striking that this came, that this, forgive me, bulls— attack on fake news came just moments after the secretary of state said the American people need to be careful where they get their information and go to sources they can trust. … That was a 100% legitimate question with no hype, no shade, no bias, he just wanted to attack.”

Mr. Alexander used Twitter to offer a similar defense of his questioning.

“I offered both Pres Trump and VP Pence an opportunity to reassure Americans,” he wrote. “Simple question: ‘What do you say to Americans who are scared?’ Trump, to me: ‘I say, you’re a terrible reporter.’”

Critics on Twitter called foul, given that what predicated Mr. Alexander’s question about fear was an expressed concern about “positive spin.”

The president had been discussing his hopes for an anti-malaria drug that might be used to treat COVID-19.

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