President Donald Trump snapped at a reporter after being asked whether he would concede the election. The Thursday briefing marked the first time Trump has taken questions from reporters since Election Day and has followed weeks of the president and his campaign making unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud.
Asked by Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason, "if the electoral college votes for Joe Biden, will you concede?" the president at first attempted to avoid the question by stating the electoral college would be making "a mistake" by voting for Biden. He went on to bring forth more claims of voter fraud, without evidence, claiming that the "election was a fraud." He stated, "they have Biden beating ... Obama's vote ... and yet he's losing to Obama all over the place ... so, no, I can't say that at all."
JUST IN: President Trump snaps at reporter objecting to the President's false claims about the election: "You're just a lightweight. Don't talk to me that way. I'm the President of the United States. Don't ever talk to the President that way." pic.twitter.com/RbTKItjs9L— The Hill (@thehill) November 26, 2020
As Mason pressed the president to answer the question of whether or not he would concede, Trump lashed out, stating: "Don't talk to me that way. You're just a lightweight. Don't talk to me that way. I'm the president of the United States. Don't ever talk to the president that way." The president then said he was going to "go with another question" before calling on another reporter, who asked if Trump would "leave the building" if Biden's lead were to be confirmed by the electoral college. Trump said that he "certainly" would.
Addressing the combative exchange with CNN's New Day on Friday, Mason said that he was "caught off guard" by the outburst. Mason explained that he had "asked that particular question twice, and he kind of filibustered a little bit, which is why I was pressing him, and he just didn't like that." Mason said he "really was not expecting him to yell. But he did, and he was upset."
According to USA Today, this is far from the first time Mason has clashed with the president. In September, Mason, a former president of the White House Correspondents' Association, was mocked by Trump after he refused to remove his face mask when asking the president a question. After Trump said that Mason sounded "very muffled," Mason declined to remove the mask and instead said that he would speak louder. Last year, the two argued after Mason pressed Trump on his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.