President Donald Trump declared the crowd gathered at his country club in Bedminster, New Jersey were "peaceful protesters" for not wearing masks. Speaking at a press conference, the president defended those without a mask, as documented by Vox reporter Aaron Rupar.
"It's a political activity. They have exceptions," Trump claimed. "And it's also a peaceful protest. So, as you know, to me, they look like they all have, pretty much all have, masks on. But you have an exclusion in the law for peaceful protest or political activity, right? In fact, specifically, it says exactly political activity or peaceful protest. And you could call it political activity, but I'd call it peaceful protest. Because they heard you were coming up, and they know the news is fake, they understand that better than anybody," Trump continued, to a round of applause.
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
"They asked whether or not they could be here," Trump continued, referring to an earlier question from the presser. "Like the question about Russia, he doesn't mention Iran was in the report, and he doesn't mention, or he mentions very late that China was in the report. Because that's the way they are. If the press in this country, if it wasn't corrupt, if it wasn't fake, our country would be so much further ahead. But we're doing really great," he concluded, citing no evidence.
Trump also announced on Friday that his administration would be going "a different way" when it came to stimulus relief after negotiations with Democrats House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. While he indicated it would be done through an executive order, nothing has been signed just yet. His big announcement included a payroll tax cut, despite the fact that it's opposed by Republicans and Democrats in Congress, as well as economists. He also spoke about an extension for the unemployment benefits, aid for those facing evictions and more through the year's end, all echoing what he stated on Thursday when the negotiations were apparently on their last legs.