President Donald Trump is not happy that The Wall Street Journal criticized his coronavirus briefings.
In an op-ed published on Wednesday night, titled “Trump’s Wasted Briefings,” the Journal’s editorial board ripped into the president’s daily press briefings and claimed he is using them as campaign rallies.
“Perhaps they substitute in his mind for the campaign rallies he can no longer hold because of the risks. Perhaps he resented the media adulation that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been receiving for his daily show. Whatever the reason, the briefings are now all about the President,” the op-ed reads.
In a tweet on Thursday afternoon, Trump blasted the paper for its op-ed, “The Wall Street Journal always ‘forgets’ to mention that the ratings for the White House Press Briefings are ‘through the roof.’”
“WSJ is Fake News!” he added.
The Wall Street Journal always “forgets” to mention that the ratings for the White House Press Briefings are “through the roof” (Monday Night Football, Bachelor Finale, according to @nytimes) & is only way for me to escape the Fake News & get my views across. WSJ is Fake News!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 9, 2020
The op-ed continued to say that the country’s top health officials have become “supporting actors, and sometimes barely that, ushered on stage to answer a technical question.”
It continued, “Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the task force, doesn’t get on stage until the last 15 minutes or so. That becomes the most informative part of the session, since Mr. Pence understandably knows details the President doesn’t.”
It also critiqued the Trump’s format for the briefings.
“Mr. Trump opens each briefing by running through a blizzard of facts and numbers showing what the government is doing—this many tests, that many masks, so many ventilators going from here to there, and what a great job he’s doing. Then Mr. Trump opens the door for questions, and the session deteriorates into a dispiriting brawl between the President and his antagonists in the White House press corps.”
Additionally, the op-ed blasted Trump for lashing out at his critics during his briefings.
“The President’s outbursts against his political critics are also notably off-key at this moment. This isn’t impeachment, and COVID-19 isn’t shifty Schiff. It’s a once-a-century threat to American life and livelihood.”
Finally, the paper offered some advice for Trump on how to improve his briefings, “Make them no more than 45 minutes, except on rare occasions. Let Mr. Pence lead them each day, focusing on one issue or problem. Mr. Pence can take the questions, and Mr. Trump can show up twice a week to reinforce the message.”
The Journal’s op-ed comes as many TV networks are weighing whether or not to cover Trump’s briefings live, as IJR has previously reported.