Towards the end of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus press conference on Thursday, the president took some truly ridiculous questions from far-right cable news channel One America News that allowed him to rant against the media and suggest news outlets are doing “state propaganda” for China.
Over the past couple of days, the president has taken to calling COVID-19 the “Chinese Virus,” sparking outrage that he may be encouraging the racist targeting of Asian-Americans. Trump, meanwhile, has insisted he uses the term to retaliate against some Chinese officials blaming the U.S. military for the viral outbreak.
OANN White House correspondent Chanel Rion, therefore, on Thursday decided to set the president up with a ridiculous question to give him a path to rant about the media and claim he’s not encouraging racism.
“Mr. President, do you consider the term ‘Chinese food’ to be racist because it is food that originated from China?” Rion leadingly asked.
“I don’t think that’s racist at all,” Trump gleefully responded.
“On that note, major left-wing media, even in this room, have teamed up with Chinese communist party narratives, and they are claiming you are racist for making these claims about ‘Chinese virus,’” Rion continued, before serving up a truly bonkers question: “Is it alarming that major media players, just to oppose you, are siding with foreign state propaganda, Islamic radicals, and Latin gangs and cartels and they work right here out of the White House with direct access to you and your team?”
“It amazes me when I read the things that I read,” Trump replied with a grin, before going on a tirade about all the media outlets he feels have been critical of him.
“I don’t think anybody has done as much as I have done in three years,” he noted at one point. “This administration has done a great job. But the press is very dishonest.”
Rion, meanwhile, interjected to exclaim that “they are siding with state propaganda,” prompting Trump to agree that “they are siding with China.”
It should be noted that many of the outlets that Trump claimed are “siding with China”—such as the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times—have recently had their press credentials revoked by China and their reporters booted out of the country.
Rion, who was recently promoted as the network’s chief White House correspondent, has a history of conspiracy-mongering and over-the-top Trump sycophancy. Besides being a Seth Rich truther and helping to peddle Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s most insane Ukraine narratives, Rion recently helped push a wild conspiracy theory that the coronavirus was created in a North Carolina lab.