President Donald Trump used media sentiment supporting nationwide demonstrations against a reporter when defending some of his own backers who were not following health mandates in New Jersey on Friday.
Trump was holding a press conference about the economy and actions he intends to take to help struggling Americans as talks about another round of coronavirus relief stalled in Congress.
From his resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump spoke at length before taking questions from reporters.
According to The Blaze, a reporter asked the president, “You said that the pandemic is disappearing, but we lost 6,000 Americans this week, and just in this room you have dozens of people who are not following the guidelines in New Jersey.”
The reporter’s question drew boos from several Trump supporters in the room.
Trump quickly replied, using the mainstream media’s adoration for demonstrators, describing those in the room as part of a “peaceful protest” group.
WATCH: Reporter tries to call out Trump supporters for not following coronavirus guidelines.
“You’re wrong on that,” President Trump replied. “It’s a peaceful protest.” pic.twitter.com/oNZUZ0Fb26
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) August 8, 2020
“You’re wrong on that because it’s a political activity,” Trump said. “They have exceptions, political activity, and it’s also a peaceful protest.”
Trump continued over a loud cheer from those in attendance.
“You know, to me they look like they all pretty much have masks on, but you know, you have an exclusion in the law that says ‘peaceful protests or political activity,’ ” he said.
“You can call it political activity, but I’d call it peaceful protests because they heard you were coming up, and they know the news is fake. They understand it better than anybody,” the president continued.
“If the press in this country were honest, and wasn’t corrupt, if it wasn’t fake, our country would be so much further ahead,” he added.
After the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis in May, a media narrative about following mask and social distancing mandates to the letter was suddenly replaced to a large degree by support for demonstrations from much of the establishment media and from Democratic lawmakers.
The double standard was pointed out by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in June.
.@senatemajldr Mitch McConnell calls out the double standard on public officials’ attitudes toward protests and religious gatherings:
“While protests are still permissible, prayer is still too dangerous” pic.twitter.com/45gPOt0jhP
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) June 9, 2020
Despite large gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic, in which many demonstrators have committed acts of violence, the gatherings have essentially been tagged as “peaceful” by many of the same news organizations and lawmakers who have have supported shutdowns of life and commerce.
Support for such demonstrations has coincided with regulations against gatherings such as funerals and religious services in some places.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat who issued a statewide outdoor mask mandate last month, amended the rule a week ago to offer several exemptions.
“However, today’s change will not be applicable to the following events: weddings, funerals, memorial services, religious services or celebrations, and political activities,” the amendment stated.
“These events may continue under the previous rules that limited these events to 25 percent of a room’s capacity, but with a limit of 100 persons,” according to the rule change.
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