President Donald Trump angered many of his critics when he quieted a reporter attempting to interrupt a signing ceremony in order to ask him a question about minority unemployment.
The interaction happened Friday at the White House after the president applauded a report showing a surprising and sudden drop in unemployment nationwide.
The president moved from a podium to a desk to sign a bill about the Paycheck Protection Program, but PBS NewsHour correspondent Yamiche Alcindor yelled a question at him instead.
“Mr. President, why don’t you have a plan to address systemic racism?” Alcindor yelled.
The president responded by putting his finger to his lips to signify that she needed to be quiet.
“I’d like to sign this bill,” he said.
“And by the way, what’s happened to our country — and what you now see, that’s been happening, is the greatest thing that could happen for race relations, for the African-American community, for the Asian-American, for the Hispanic-American community, for women, for everything,” Trump replied.
Alcindor persisted despite the president’s objections.
“What is your plan?!” she interjected.
“Because our country is so strong, that’s what my plan is,” the president continued. “We’re gonna have the strongest economy in the world, we’re almost there now, we had the strongest economy anywhere in the world, and now we’re gonna have an economy that’s even stronger.”
“Black unemployment went up 0.1%. Asian American unemployment went up by 0.5%. How is that a victory?” she interrupted again.
“You are something,” Trump responded.
Some criticized Alcindor for pressing the president on minority unemployment when the overall rate had improved considerably when most analysts had predicted much greater unemployment due to the coronavirus lockdowns.
Critics of the president were angered at his reaction to Alcindor, who is an African American journalist.
Here’s the video of the altercation:
President Trump shushes reporters’ questions as he praises job numbers | USA TODAY