04 August 2020 20:31
An interview between Axios reporter Jonathan Swan and President Donald Trump that aired Monday on HBO has drawn the kind of social-media huzzahs accorded to a heartwarming meme or the drop of a Taylor Swift album. In a conversation taped Tuesday, July 28, Swan questions Trump's use of statistics to describe how the nation is grappling with coronavirus, suggesting U.S. efforts are working better than those of other countries. "You can't do that," Trump says after Swan cited pointed the number of US Covid-19 deaths as a percentage of the U.S. population. In the interview, Swan also queries Trump on Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights leader, who recently died, and finds Trump would not attend the funeral, seemingly in part because Lewis did not attend his inauguration. The Daily Beast said that the president "has revealed his self-delusion over U.S. COVID numbers in a mind-blowing argument with Axios' Jonathan Swan." Donald Trump has revealed his self-delusion over U.S. COVID numbers in a mind-blowing argument with Axios' Jonathan Swan — The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) August 4, 2020 In an interview with Trump at the time, Swan prompted the president to confirm he wanted to end automatic citizenship for immigrant children not born in the U.S. A video clip showed the journalist smiling about nabbing the scoop, and prompted several rounds of criticism about his reporting style – and even prompted him to apologize to colleagues.
His message has combined spreading baseless claims that Joe Biden is trying to get out of debating him and offering his time to right-leaning but tough interviewers. Asked how history would remember the late civil-rights icon, Trump replied, "I don't know. Prompted by Swan to give a nod to Lewis's history in civil-rights activism, Trump instead returned to skipping the inauguration, which he emphasized this was "a big mistake." Swan asked Trump why he would hold a huge maskless indoor rally during a pandemic. When Swan tried to clarify and ask why he felt it was wise to hold such a rally during a pandemic, Trump explained, "That area was a very good area at the time. Trump has repeatedly said he doesn't like coronavirus testing because it shows how many cases you have, which makes him look bad.
He passed the Civil Rights Act. Trump: Ask, ask: how has it worked out? Swan: You think the Civil Rights Act was a mistake? Washington (CNN) Jonathan Swan, a reporter for Axios, has revealed the magic words that expose President Donald Trump's lies for what they are. In an interview that aired Monday night on "Axios on HBO," Swan demolished some of Trump's most dishonest talking points with a powerful tactic that has rarely been used by the people Trump has allowed to interview him: Swan--like Fox News' Chris Wallace, to a slightly lesser extent, in an interview that aired July 19--came armed with facts and prepared to use them, even if he had to interrupt Trump like Trump interrupts others. While Swan couldn't get the President to concede that he is making up these "manuals" and "books," he exposed him nonetheless.
Swan had similar success when Trump returned to his laughably inaccurate claim that the virus is "under control," which he has now been making for more than six months But Swan's basic follow-up--a "how?" and a single key statistic--forced Trump into a de facto surrender ("It's under control as much as you can control it") and another revealing remark, "It is what it is." Trump made at least 17 additional false claims in the 35-minute interview. South Korea's death toll: Trump: Trump cast doubt on Swan's correct statement that South Korea has 300 deaths from the coronavirus, saying, "You don't know that." When Swan pressed him on whether he thinks South Korea is faking its statistics, Trump said, "I won't get into that because I have a very good relationship with the country. But you don't know that." (South Korea had precisely 301 confirmed deaths as of Tuesday; there is no basis to claim the country is faking its data. Many countries, including South Korea and the US, likely have more actual coronavirus deaths than have been confirmed to date, but Swan was correctly using the available numbers.) The US presence in Afghanistan: Trump: Trump claimed the US is "largely out of Afghanistan." ("Largely" is vague, but as Swan noted, the US still has more than 8,000 troops in Afghanistan.) (Clinton earned 232 electoral votes; we know this is a small thing, but Trump has said "223" 12 times since July 2019.) Black Americans: Trump claimed that he has done "more for the Black community than anybody with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln, whether you like it or not." When Swan asked him specifically if he thinks he did "more than Lyndon Johnson, who passed the Civil Rights Act," Trump said yes. A journalist has been hailed a "hero" after leaving Donald Trump floundering during an interview over the US President's response to the coronavirus outbreak. Jonathan Swan, national political correspondent at the Axios news site, grilled the president on the Covid-19 pandemic during a car crash interview aired by HBO on Tuesday. Segments show a frustrated Mr Trump rifle through sheets of papers as Mr Swan questioned him on the US's death toll. He also asked him to explain himself as the embattled president claimed the country had done an "incredible job" and that he had saved "millions of lives". One social media user said: "Jonathan Swan is one of the best live interviewers on the planet. Another said the interview showed the president's "incompetence". "This is what happen when Trump doesn't get to know the questions before the interview," said the social media user in a Twitter post. "Kudos to Swan for pushing back in a way trump* is obviously not used to." During the interview, Mr Trump was seen examining a piece of paper which appeared to show data on Covid-19 deaths in the US. But Mr Swan questioned the accuracy of the data asking: "Lower than the world?" Mr Swan pressed Mr Trump by insisting: "Why can't I do that?". "It's surely a relevant statistic to say if the US has X population and X percentage of death of that population," says Mr Swan. In another clip from the interview, Mr Trump claimed he had "done more" to improve the lives of black people in the US than the late civil rights leader John Lewis. Also in the interview, Mr Trump dismissed the legacy of the late Congressman and accused him of having made a "big mistake" by not coming to the American president's inauguration ceremony.