Photo: Andrew Harnik, STF / Associated Press
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It was an uncomfortable moment at the White House.
When Thursday’s coronavirus briefing began, President Donald Trump reiterated positive updates about his administration’s effective management of the spread of the coronavirus. Trump also took a jab at Biden and voiced his issues with voting by mail, according to Washington Post.
Then, S.V. Dáte, HuffPost’s White House correspondent, posed a pointed question:
“Mr. President, after three and a half years, do you regret at all, all the lying you’ve done to the American people?” Dáte asked.
President Trump responded with a confused look. “What?” he asked.
“All the lying. All the dishonesties,” Dáte said.
“That who has done?” Trump said.
“You have done,” Dáte said.
Trump then paused a moment and quickly took a question from another reporter.
The terse exchange then rapidly went viral on Twitter, generating millions of views by Friday morning. A seasoned journalist and author, Dáte has encouraged his colleagues to dig deeper into Trump’s claims throughout his presidency.
According to Washington Post’s Fact Checker, Trump has made more than 20,000 false or misleading claims while in office. There’s been an uptick in the false claims more recently in the last 14 months, with up to 23 misleading statements per day, according to WAPO Fact Checker.
Last year in an email, Dáte urged his fellow journalists to “be more concerned about getting lied to as a matter of course – and the American public getting lied to, through us – than about access.”
“We are attacked on a near daily basis using Stalinist language. We are called corrupt and dishonest. We are given false information from staff who often know full well that it is false,” Dáte wrote.
After the direct exchange with the president, Dáte tweeted this:
“For five years, I’ve been wanting to ask him that.”