On Monday, President Trump abruptly ended a press conference out of what seemed like sheer discomfort over questions coming from one particular reporter — a reporter whose name Trump has already dragged in the mud.
When CBS News' Weijia Jiang began asking questions in response to Trump's narrative that America “is doing far better than any other country when it comes to testing” — a statement which has already been widely disproven — the President reacted with a pointed response. "Why is this a global competition to you?" the journalist asked Trump, to which he responded by suggesting that Jiang should "ask China."
After pressing on Trump further to account for the 80,000 in America who have died, she called out the president's suggestion to "ask China," saying, "Sir, why are you saying that to me, specifically?" Although Trump denied that the response was targeted at Jiang, who is Chinese-American, he then referred to it as a "nasty question" and attempted to move on from the discourse. Motioning to CNN White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins, who tried to turn her question back over to Jiang, Trump then attempted to call on someone else — PBS NewsHour White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor — who also motioned back to Collins and Jiang. And that’s when Trump — infamous for being unable to handle criticism — walked off the stage, abruptly ending the conference and refusing questions from three women journalists.
Despite this behavior from the President, women journalists have united against Trump, showing that the will continue to take him to task despite multiple efforts to silence them. Alcindor, Collins, and Jiang have continued to tweet about the incident, making sure that no one can twist what happened.
This isn’t the first time that Trump has attacked women or refused to answer perfectly reasonable questions — and it isn’t even the first time Trump has gotten into a back-and-forth with this woman. In fact, Weijia Jiang has a recent history with the president.
Just last week, Trump complained about how CBS News correspondents asked questions during the daily coronavirus press briefings, singling out both Jiang and her colleague, Paula Reid. “It wasn’t Donna Reed, I can tell you that,” the president told the New York Post. Donna Reed, who was famous for being an American housewife in the 50s and 60s, was used as an example for how Trump thinks women should behave, especially in his presence.
And Trump especially didn’t like it when Jiang asked him why he didn’t warn Americans about the coronavirus pandemic sooner, during a press briefing on April 19. The president responded to her by asking her to “Just relax” and “Keep your voice down,” while he raised his voice. In response to the controversy, Jiang tweeted, “The President told me to be ‘nice and easy’ three out of the last four times I asked him a question.”
Despite these recent pointed questions and journalists’ attempts to hold Trump accountable for what he’s said and done, he’s not giving up on the narrative he's attached to. In fact, Trump has continued to disparage Asian Americans specifically, skirting responsibility for how he’s responded to coronavirus.
In a tweet from this morning, Trump stated, “Asian Americans are VERY angry at what China has done to our Country, and the World. Chinese Americans are the most angry of all. I don’t blame them!” Luckily, it seems that Jiang is in good company with her fellow women journalists, who will continue to hold the president accountable for his words and his treatment of women in media as a whole.