President Donald Trump lashed out Monday at Jonathan Karl, ABC News chief Washington correspondent and co-anchor of “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” calling the newsman a “third-rate reporter” who “will never make it.”
Trump became upset after Karl asked about a report from the inspector general having to do with a backlog of coronavirus tests at hospitals. When Trump asked another journalist to tell him the name of the inspector general — Christi Grimm, the Principal Deputy Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services — Trump began asking reporters when she was appointed.
After Karl originally said she was appointed by Trump, he later said that Grimm “did serve in the previous administration.” (Grimm has actually served under Bush, Clinton, Obama and Trump.) But Karl’s answer set Trump off, who adopted a sarcastic and condescending tone as he began to tear into Karl from the podium.
“Oh, you didn’t tell me that. Ohhhh, I see,” Trump began. “You didn’t tell me that, Jon. She did serve in the previous administration. You mean the Obama administration? Thank you for telling me that. See, there’s a typical fake news deal.”
Karl tried to get in a word but Trump wouldn’t let him, finally saying, “You’re a third-rate reporter and what you just said is a disgrace, OK?”
Trump continued on before finally saying, “You will never make it.”
Earlier in the day, Trump attacked the New York Times and Washington Post for low advertising numbers amid the coronavirus crisis, suggesting the drop was caused by “fake news.”
“Advertising in the Failing New York Times is WAY down. Washington Post is not much better. I can’t say whether this is because they are Fake News sources of information, to a level that few can understand, or the Virus is just plain beating them up,” Trump tweeted Monday morning. “Fake News is bad for America!”
Advertising is down across all media and has been since businesses started shutting down as the virus spread and Americans retreated — some voluntarily, some by government mandate — into their homes. Individual outlets’ coverage is not a factor.