Trump demanded a reporter remove his face mask to ask him a question at a press conference after targeting the same journalist months earlier

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President Donald Trump clashed with a Reuters reporter at a press briefing outside the White House on Monday, demanding the journalist remove his face mask before he asked him a question.

“You’re going to have to take that off. Just take it off,” Trump said at an outdoor press conference at the North Portico when Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason asked a question at the Monday news conference.

“How many feet are you away?” the president asked Mason. “If you don’t take it off, you’re very muffled. So if you take it off, it would be a lot easier.”

“I’ll just speak a lot louder,” said Mason. “Is that better?”

“It’s better, yeah. It’s better,” a clearly irritated Trump said, allowing Mason to continue on with his question, which pertained to a report published last week by The Atlantic that said the president called soldiers who died in World War I both “suckers” and “losers.”

WATCH: President Trump told Reuters reporter Jeff Mason to take off his mask at a White House press conference, saying he was “very muffled.” Mason refused and said he would just speak louder

— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 7, 2020

If the interaction feels at all familiar, that’s because a similar one involving the president and the same Reuters reporter occurred — almost verbatim — at a White House press conference in May.

“Can you take it off, because I cannot hear you?” Trump said to Mason at a White House press conference on May 27.

“I’ll just speak louder, sir,” Mason replied.

“OK, you want to be politically correct. Go ahead,” Trump said.

“No sir, I just want to wear the mask,” Mason retorted.

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In both instances, Mason kept the face mask on as he asked the president a question.

Despite the two interactions, the president’s tone concerning face masks has shifted somewhat since May. While Trump previously spent months refusing to wear face masks in public and downplaying their effectiveness, he eventually donned one publicly for the first time in the month of July. Later that month, he suggested wearing face masks was an act of patriotism.

But his tone hasn’t been consistent. At a packed campaign event in Pennsylvania on Thursday, Trump mocked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for his regular wearing of a face mask.

“Did you ever see a man who likes a mask as much as him?” Trump asked the crowd of his supporters.

“It gives him a feeling of security,” the president added. “If I were a psychiatrist, right, you know I’d say, ‘This guy’s got some big issues.'”

Trump’s campaign events, like one outside the White House on the final night of the Republican National Convention, don’t require attendees to wear them, even though guests are often pictured without taking proper social distancing measures.

Experts have said that wearing face masks is an effective way to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus, especially when social distancing is not possible, despite their continued politicization and persistent …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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