President Donald Trump vowed to revive his White House coronavirus briefings, saying “everybody” enjoyed them, crediting his clashes with reporters for keeping the public engaged.
“We set every record with those press conferences. Six million people all the time. You know we had tremendous numbers, literally, it was in [Fox News host] Bret Baier’s slot, and we did like 30 in a row,” Trump said. “I heard, is this true? It was the highest-rated hour in cable television history. That’s what I heard. I don’t know if that’s true.”
The president also noted that a lack of reelection rallies––halted by the coronavirus that has killed nearly 70,000 Americans and prompted national stay-at-home orders––would place him at “a big disadvantage.”
“I hope we’re going to be able to get the rallies back before the election,” Trump said. “I actually think it’s very important. I think that would be a big — a big disadvantage to me if we didn’t, if we couldn’t have the rallies back. People are wanting the rallies. They want to have them so badly. They were informative but they were fun.”
The president further claimed that he enjoys clashing with reporters during his briefings and suggested that they are largely responsible for his flareups.
“I was told that some people didn’t like the combative attitude so much. And I can a little bit understand that. But I would say from the standpoint of watching it and wanting to watch, that would be more interesting than having boring questions asked,” he said. “And you know, at the same time, they shouldn’t be asking the same question every press conference just trying to get a rise, you know.”
“A lot of people love when the press hits me, you know, when I go at it with the press — they like it,” he continued.
Trump’s advisers removed him from his coronavirus briefings after he faced immense backlash for suggesting that toxic disinfectants could be injected into the body to cure the coronavirus.
Robert Benckiser, the United Kingdom-based owner of Lysol, has warned individuals not to inject themselves with bleach after the president made the suggestion.
“As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route),” an official statement reads. “As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines.”