President Donald Trump complained about the way that two CBS News correspondents asked questions during the nightly coronavirus press briefings, telling the New York Post, “It wasn’t Donna Reed, I can tell you that.”
The correspondents — Paula Reid and Weijia Jiang — were targets of the president at various points during the briefings, which the White House recently scaled back.
In the interview, Trump said, “Paula Reid, she’s sitting there and I say, ‘How angry. I mean, What’s the purpose?’ They’re not even tough questions, but you see the attitude of these people, it’s like incredible.”
Jiang wrote on Twitter, “The President told me to be ‘nice and easy’ three out of the last four times I asked him a question.”
Reid wrote, “President Trump tells @nypost I am nothing like 50’s American archetypal mom Donna Reed. Fact-check: True.”
Reed was the star of the sitcom The Donna Reed Show, which ran from 1958 to 1966 and was viewed as a prime example of suburban conformity of the era. Reed herself was not entirely like her character. She was an early opponent of the Vietnam war. She also won an Oscar for a very different role, that of a prostitute, in the movie From Here To Eternity. She died in 1986 at age 64.
The last official coronavirus briefing was on April 24, but Trump did not take questions. A day earlier, he had suggested that health officials test whether disinfectants could be injected into the body as a way to treat coronavirus. After those comments created an uproar, he said that he was being sarcastic.
The president said that more briefings will be held, but they will not be as frequent and may be led by Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
Trump said that “a lot of people love when the press hits me, you know, when I go at it with the press — they like it.” And while he acknowledged that some people didn’t like the sparring, it is “more exciting than sitting there falling asleep.”