President Trump pushed back when an ABC reporter asked the why he lied to Americans

"Why did you lie to the American people and why should we trust what you have to say now?" Jonathan Karl asked President Trump.

Updated: September 10, 2020 - 6:52pm

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President Trump during a Thursday press conference took issue with a question from ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl.

"Why did you lie to the American people and why should we trust what you have to say now?" Karl asked of Trump.

The president responded, calling it "a terrible question, and the phraseology. I didn't lie. What I said is we have to be calm, we can't be panicked," Trump said. "And your question, the way you phrased that is such a disgrace. It's a disgrace to ABC television network, it's a disgrace to your employer."

Later during their exchange, the president said: "And before any statement was made you have to remember I put the ban on China, so obviously outwardly I said it's a very serious problem. And it's always a serious problem. That doesn't mean I'm gonna jump up and down in the air and start saying, 'People are gonna die, people are gonna die.' No, no I'm not gonna do that." 

Trump during a February 7 interview with journalist Bob Woodward described the coronavirus as "more deadly than your, you know, your, even your strenuous flus." A Washington Post article states that the president during that period was describing the illness as not worse than a seasonal flu.

Trump during a different interview with Woodward indicated that he downplayed the virus threat: “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic,” Trump said.

The president during the Thursday press conference discussed issues including the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation's economic recovery and the Middle East, while also attacking Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden.

"We're witnessing the fastest labor market recovery from an economic crisis in our history," Trump said. "By contrast the Obama-Biden administration had the slowest, weakest and worst recovery in American history, as you know." 

The president continued advocating for schools to open for in-person education.

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