A crowd of supporters at President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: ‘Nobody’s been tougher on Russia than I have’ Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won’t sign yet MORE‘s news conference in Bedminster, N.J., on Friday booed when a reporter pointed out that many of the guests lacked face masks as coronavirus cases were rising.
“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,” a reporter said while asking Trump a question, prompting widespread boos from the crowd.
“You’re wrong about that because it’s a political activity,” Trump argued. “And it’s also a peaceful protest. To me they all look like they pretty much all have masks on.”
The comment from Trump drew cheers from the supporters. He went on to argue the crowd was protesting the news media.
“You have an exclusion in the law it says peaceful protest,” Trump continued. “I’d call it peaceful protest because they know you’re coming up and they know the news is fake.”
Trump’s paying Bedminster customers boo when a reporter points out that many of them aren’t wearing masks, violating New Jersey law. Trump defends them by describing them as “peaceful protesters” of the media, then ends the news conference to a round of applause. pic.twitter.com/5DVow55B1G
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 8, 2020
The exchange took place at Trump’s Bedminster golf club, where he gave a news conference on the coronavirus pandemic as well as his proposed executive orders on economic relief and health care coverage.
Guests at the golf club were seen joining in the crowd at the press conference. Initial photos appeared to show a lack of social distancing and mask wearing. Later photos showed guests wearing masks that were handed out by officials.
New Jersey’s coronavirus restrictions require that golf courses limit the number of patrons in an indoor part of the property to 25 percent capacity or no more than 25 people, while also requiring that all workers and customers wear face coverings.