Jenna Ellis, the senior legal adviser for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, dismissed criticism of Monday’s showdown between Trump and two female journalists, saying “POC liberal women have been present at every one” of the coronavirus press conferences and have “asked stupid questions.”
“This is coronavirus press conference number, what, probably somewhere in the 50s? POC liberal women have been present at every one of them and asked stupid questions. Sometimes for HOURS. This is the first time he’s just walked off. Finally. You know nothing. Stop gaslighting,” Ellis wrote on Twitter just past midnight Tuesday morning.
Ellis was responding to an academic who took issue with Trump abruptly walking out of his own coronavirus briefing, refusing to answer any more questions, after a tense exchange with CBS’ Weijia Jiang and CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. Trump’s exchange with Jiang was particularly buzzworthy, as he told her to “ask China” about the importance of coronavirus testing and she pushed back, questioning why he asked her “specifically,” to do that. Jiang, CBS News’ White House correspondent, was born in China and raised in West Virginia.
“No, she isn’t his ‘kind of woman’ who let the rich and powerful do what they want. When a bully is challenged they slink off. Trump can give but he can’t take. He disliked women who stand up to him. The journalist was devastating in her politeness. Trump showed his racism,” wrote Professor Carlyle A. Thayer after Ellis initially tweeted, “GOOD for @realDonaldTrump for just walking away from the childish journalists’ sandbox.”
CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter noted her comments, posting a screenshot of her tweet that didn’t include her direct shot at Thayer — “You know nothing. Stop gaslighting.” — which prompted Ellis to respond to him, too. She called Stelter “among the most dishonest propagandists in the media.”
Posting screenshots of tweets is a standard practice among reporters as it shows the tweet to those who may be blocked by the author and preserves it for posterity in the event of its deletion, whether automatic or manual.