Trump cuts back on press briefings after widespread mockery and criticism

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Trump didn't hold coronavirus briefings over the weekend. But he did pop off against his usual targets on Twitter, generating the same negative headlines his aides want to avoid.

Under fire for irresponsibly floating the dangerous idea of injecting disinfectant to cure COVID-19, Donald Trump did not hold any coronavirus task force briefings this weekend.

"What is the purpose of having White House News Conferences when the Lamestream Media asks nothing but hostile questions, & then refuses to report the truth or facts accurately," Trump tweeted on Saturday. "They get record ratings, & the American people get nothing but Fake News. Not worth the time & effort!"

Trump's forgoing of the daily coronavirus briefings — which have become a replacement for the campaign rallies he relishes — came as Axios reported that Trump plans to scale back his appearances at the briefings. The outlet said advisers have warned Trump that the briefings are imperiling his chances against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in November.

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The New York Times further reported that Trump's allies fear the briefings have not only hurt Trump's reelection chances but also put the GOP's Senate majority at risk, as down-ballot Republican candidates' fates are directly tied to Trump's performance in November.

A Republican consultant told the Times, "I've always thought we were favored to [keep the Senate], but I can't say that now with all these cards up in the air."

But rather than lying low to limit bad press from his comments, Trump took to Twitter, where he bragged about his job performance before going on a bizarre, hostile, and factually inaccurate tirade against some of his favorite scapegoats — the media and Democrats — for not giving him proper credit for his work.

"The people that know me and know the history of our Country say that I am the hardest working President in history," Trump tweeted Sunday. "I don't know about that, but I am a hard worker and have probably gotten more done in the first 3 1/2 years than any President in history. The Fake News hates it!"

Trump was responding to a New York Times article that details how Trump spends most of his day watching cable news instead of preparing for the briefings — where he tells lies and floats irresponsible cure ideas.

"I work from early in the morning until late at night, haven’t left the White House in many months (except to launch Hospital Ship Comfort) in order to take care of Trade Deals, Military Rebuilding etc., and then I read a phony story in the failing @nytimes about my work schedule and eating habits, written by a third rate reporter who knows nothing about me," Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon.

This is a lie. On March 28, Trump went to Norfolk, Virginia, to see off a hospital ship bound for New York. He golfed on March 8 and held a campaign rally in Charlotte on March 2.

Trump went on to attack Fox News for not being laudatory enough of him in its coverage before firing off a now-deleted series of tweets about "Noble Prizes."

"When will all of the 'reporters' who received Noble Prizes for their work on Russia, Russia, Russia, only to have been proven totally wrong (and, in fact, it was the other wise who committed the crimes), be turning back their cherished 'Nobles' so that they can be given to the REAL REPORTERS & JOURNALISTS who got it right," Trump tweeted.

Reporters did not receive Nobel Prizes — the correct spelling of the award — for articles on Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

It seems Trump was thinking of Pulitzer Prizes, which are awarded for journalism. In 2018, reporters at both the New York Times and the Washington Post received Pulitzer Prizes for their reporting on the Russia investigation.

Trump claimed his inaccurate tweets were sarcastic — the same excuse he used for his disinfectant injection idea.

"Does anybody get the meaning of what a so-called Noble (not Nobel) Prize is, especially as it pertains to Reporters and Journalists?" Trump tweeted Sunday night. "Noble is defined as, 'having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.' Does sarcasm ever work?"

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.