President Donald Trump made lots of promises at a Friday evening press conference, but did not take any action.
The president made the comments from Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, where he arrived on Thursday for an extended weekend.
He held the press conference while allowing members of his private club to serve as an audience for his speech, which was announced by the White House but frequently veered into partisan electoral politics. Members were seen without masks and not social distancing, potentially in violation of New Jersey regulations.
Trump’s comments came after White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin “did not make any progress” in negotiations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Here’s some of what people were saying about his press conference:
Aside from the clear public health issues, the optics of POTUS addressing his country club members who pay at up to $350,000 to join while millions of Americans don't know how they'll cover rent this month as expanded unemployment benefits have expired is—an interesting choice. https://t.co/0Fl9ihm9do
— Kathryn Watson (@kathrynw5) August 7, 2020
The logical endpoint of the Trump Presidency: press conference at his country club where he explains to millionaires why he didn't get a real relief package done in the midst of the greatest health and economic crisis of our lifetimes. https://t.co/3gTySqW7va
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) August 7, 2020
Before news conf Trump was caught on a hot mic telling people at club…”You’ll get to meet the fake news tonight. You’ll get to see what I have to go through. Who’s there? Oh all my killers are there, wow. So you’ll get to see some of the people that we deal with every day”
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 8, 2020
Honestly, I think Trump wants to lose the election. There’s no other explanation for this extreme level of self sabotage.
— Josh Schwerin (@JoshSchwerin) August 7, 2020
Sec. 7508A of the tax code, which applies after declared disasters, allows administration to postpone tax collection deadlines. It does not change the underlying taxes. And employers may just keep paying rather than deal with the hassle. https://t.co/VPqqXha26N
— Richard Rubin (@RichardRubinDC) August 7, 2020
Wow. A reporter points out many club members in the room aren't wearing mask, violating guidelines.
The crowd boos the reporter.
"Because it's a political activity they have exceptions" and it's "also a peaceful protest," Trump said.
The crowd, full of wealthy members, cheers.
— Kathryn Watson (@kathrynw5) August 8, 2020
"Is Trump stupid?" is a question I frequently get asked. My answer: It's irrelevant, because because he cannot focus for more than 30 seconds on anything, so he is totally ignorant.
— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) August 8, 2020
Trump calls his tax-payer funded press conference a "political activity" when asked about guests not wearing masks or social distancing
— Will Steakin (@wsteaks) August 8, 2020
We’ve reached the portion of the press conference where the President’s golf club groupies are booing reporters and cheering the President calling the news fake pic.twitter.com/EA06QAzjEe
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) August 8, 2020
Covered my first political protest by country club members tonight.
— Toluse Olorunnipa (@ToluseO) August 8, 2020
Trump on the coronavirus outbreak: "We're doing very well. You don't hear that too often from the media, but we are doing very well."
— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) August 7, 2020
— Bradley Whitford (@BradleyWhitford) August 8, 2020
Donald Trump is talking about buy America when his ENTIRE clothing line was MADE IN CHINA.
And millions of people believe this BULLSHIT.
— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) August 7, 2020
Trump, tonight in particular, appears to think that he can run the US via executive order. Congress becomes obsolete. Unemployment insurance. Payroll tax rollback. Eviction moratorium. All by presidential fiat.
— Eric Lipton (@EricLiptonNYT) August 8, 2020
President Trump just said COVID19 is disappearing.
It is not.
Despite the President’s repeated attempts to state false information, it doesn’t change the fact:
Coronavirus is not disapparearing.
It is raging out of control in parts of the south, west, & midwest.
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) August 7, 2020
Pool journalists at the club haven't been tested for covid. Have club members been tested before coming into proximity of POTUS, press and White House staff in an enclosed space? Bonkers. https://t.co/FIREnuZswc
— Katie Rogers (@katierogers) August 7, 2020
Trump says “We will be pursuing a major executive order requiring health insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions for all of their customers,” adds “This has never happened before," though requiring coverage of preexisting conditions was a centerpieces of the ACA.
— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) August 8, 2020
Trump the populist, they told us; Trump the anti-elite champion of the working class… https://t.co/hScnJnbtWk
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) August 7, 2020