President Donald Trump called CNN’s Kaitlan Collins’ report that he complained about CDC Director Robert Redfield “fake news.” Trump said he does not know where she heard that but since it is fake news, it is reportable on CNN. At a media availability on Wednesday, Trump admonished also Collins for asking a “wiseguy question” about coronavirus testing.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Please, Kaitlan. KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: How come yesterday, at the Republican lunch, that you were complaining about the CDC and the delayed rollout of testing, do you think that – THE PRESIDENT: No, I wasn’t complai- – I don’t know who gave you that. It’s fake news. COLLINS: Do you think Robert Redfield is doing a good job leading the CDC? THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, I do. I do. It’s fake news, Kaitlan. Fake news. Therefore, you can report it on CNN. COLLINS: But you didn’t com- – you didn’t complain – THE PRESIDENT: It’s perfect for CNN. COLLINS: You didn’t complain about the CDC – THE PRESIDENT: No. Not at all. COLLINS: – and the test – THE PRESIDENT: No, no, no, no. COLLINS: Do you think they did a good job with testing at the beginning? THE PRESIDENT: Well, you know, you’re asking me a wise-guy question. At the beginning – and again, I didn’t put CDC there. CDC has been there long before the Trump administration came in. But they had a test that was – was – something happened to it. It was soiled. It was – COLLINS: Contaminated. THE PRESIDENT: It was soiled and/or foiled, but it was a problem – a short-term problem. It lasted for about a week, and then they got that solved. And, frankly, the end result is – and this was done outside of CDC. This was done by private companies and people that we got involved. And we’ve done – you know, you look at the numbers. I bet you don’t like to talk about the numbers and what we’ve done. But, yeah, for the first week, they had a problem – CDC – because something went wrong with one of the tests, and that can happen. I’m not blaming the CDC for it. No, I think he’s done a very good job. I think – I think that my whole team has done a very good job. I think the whole – and it’s not really my team. They were there. CDC has been there for a long time. There’s some great talent in CDC. I deal with them. So now what you’re saying is, Okay, we’ve done 14 million tests, so we can’t hit the President on that. So let’s go back to the first week. CDC has done a – I think a really good job. No, and I didn’t say anything bad about CDC at the meeting. We actually had a very good meeting – the Republican Party, the senators. I think virtually every one was there. I think you had 53 there. And we had a great meeting. We’re looking to do great things for the country. We’re helping people with stimulus. We’re getting peo- – money to people. They need it. And we’re going to open up very big. We’re going to open up. I call it transition to greatness. That’s what it is. It’s a transition to greatness. And when Larry Kudlow tells you the numbers, those are really surprisingly good numbers this early in. I mean, we’re doing very well. I think it’s going to be something special. These are two governors that we invited. They’ve both done a fantastic job. One happens to be a Democrat; one happens to be Republican. But I think I’ve worked out – you’ve been on most of those calls, Laura. I think we can say the Democrats have been as nice about what we’ve done as the Republicans. I mean, it’s been terrific. And, you know, Laura – I know she will speak her mind and so will some of the others. And if she was unhappy, she’d be letting you know it. No, we’ve done a really great job. We’ve gotten along great with Democrats – the Democrat governors – and we’ve gotten along great with the Republicans. It’s been – it’s been a tremendous thing to witness. And we are – we’re doing a fantastic job with – and you have been fantastic, Deborah, I have to say. You’ve been working 24 hours a day, and I hope people appreciate what you’re doing, but I do. I do.