(Breitbart) – President Donald Trump on Friday exited the White House coronavirus press briefing without taking any questions from reporters.
The president concluded the briefing after he and his team delivered opening statements, saying, “Thank you very much,” before turning and exiting the room. Reporters shouted questions as he walked away.
The president suffered a brutal 24 hours of news coverage after he asked whether disinfectant or ultraviolet light could be used in the body to fight the Wuhan coronavirus.
Prior to the briefing, reporters said that White House staff tried to change seating in the press briefing room, moving CNN to the back of the room and moving Washington Blade reporter Chris Johnson to the front.
“White House staff just came into the briefing room and informed the print pooler that they want them to swap seats w CNN,” Yahoo News media reporter Hunter Walker wrote on Twitter. “That would move CNN to the back row from the front.”
Reporters refused to move, even though the White House staffer threatened to have Secret Service enforce the seat change.
Pooler @chrisjohnson82 said he would not move unless he heard from the @whca. WH staffer threatened to have Secret Service enforce the swap. WHCA board members ran back into the press office to discuss
— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) April 24, 2020
The White House owns the space in the briefing room and can technically control the space, but traditionally, the White House Correspondents Association sets the seating arrangements arranged by an elected board of officials.
Axios’s Jonathan Swan reported Friday after the briefing that the president would start cutting back his appearances at the daily press briefing.
Donald Trump: Injecting Disinfectants Question Was Sarcasm
President Donald Trump on Friday said he was being sarcastic when he asked medical experts about injecting disinfectants into the body to fight coronavirus.
“I was asking a sarcastic and a very sarcastic question to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside,” Trump said. “That was done in the form of a sarcastic question to the reporters.”
The president commented to reporters on the establishment media firestorm over disinfectants after signing a bill providing $320 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.
When Reuters reporter Jeff Mason asked the president to clarify whether he was encouraging Americans to ingest disinfectants, Trump replied, “No, of course not.”
He added, “Interior wise, it’s said sarcastically, it was put in the form of a question to a group of extraordinarily hostile people, namely the fake news media.”
During the White House press briefing on Thursday, Trump questioned whether it was possible to use disinfectants “by injection inside” to kill coronavirus. He later clarified, “it wouldn’t be through injection.”
Here is what the president asked Acting Undersecretary of Science and Technology for the Department of Homeland Security Bill Bryan:
“Then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?” he asked. “Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that.”
The White House said Friday that Trump’s remarks were taken out of context.