After a poorly received Fox News town hall, President Donald Trump granted an exclusive interview to an actual news program.
Trump and his staff and family tend to frequent the Fox News channel's opinion programs—like Fox & Friends, Hannity, Tucker Carlson Tonight and The Ingraham Angle—over even Fox's news shows.
But on Tuesday night Trump sat down with ABC News correspondent David Muir while he was in Phoenix, Arizona. Muir asked Trump about the pandemic and his administration's efforts to contain it.
Muir also asked the President specifics about his pandemic response timeline, his push to reopen, the lives lost due to poor performance at the onset of the global pandemic and those likely to be lost if the easing of restrictions is also handled poorly—something Trump rarely faces with Fox News hosts.
But as with all such interviews, the President had plenty of blame to hand out.
Responsibility lies with everyone but himself or his administration.
ABC: Do you believe the reality is that lives will be lost to reopen the economy? TRUMP: "It's possible there will… https://t.co/3Yc7Z6iEaW— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1588718216.0
More than a few people observed Trump's tactics don't play as well off of Fox News.
Although some thought Muir should have pushed back on the obvious lies.
@atrupar Jeez, he keeps repeating the same lies that "journalists" have had plenty of time to fact-check and correc… https://t.co/Fgz7Q5Anc0— Sister Celluloid (@Sister Celluloid)1588721748.0
@atrupar #TyrannicalTrumpTweets otw for #DavidMuir https://t.co/JVXA1MdJKt— Gimme Back My Obama 🆘️ (@Gimme Back My Obama 🆘️)1588719600.0
@atrupar They're not even hitting him that hard and he's still doing terrible.— Rich Swinton (@Rich Swinton)1588718761.0
After Trump blamed the administration of Barack Obama for his early pandemic response stumbles, Muir asked him what his administration had done in the over three years since he had been inaugurated to address any shortfalls he claimed existed under Obama.
At which point Trump shifted blame to the proven case against Russia over election interference for which numerous people were indicted and convicted, the investigation into several complaints over his attempt to extort a foreign power and his impeachment for multiple crimes and misdemeanors.
ABC: You're three years into your term. What did you do when you became president to restock those cupboards that y… https://t.co/pOGTf4MQWg— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1588718383.0
@atrupar I always check the cupboards 3-4 years after moving into a new place...— Larry Valencia (@Larry Valencia)1588718463.0
@_ReaalAmerican_ @atrupar Actually he ignored it for 4 years he was briefed in 2017 left a playbook because of a st… https://t.co/FHRzuNizBK— Bandele Ganiyu (@Bandele Ganiyu)1588743586.0
Despite his expertise in shifting responsibility, few people were buying what the President was trying so hard to sell.
@atrupar Trump's Brain: "I hear your question, I've got zip on that, but here's my default setting response which b… https://t.co/AgVMKzOHE5— London Lofty (@London Lofty)1588719046.0
@atrupar He did he had a lot to do! For example... https://t.co/yxwYconPmH— Gods Own Drunk 69 (@Gods Own Drunk 69)1588718515.0
@VetJusta @atrupar There was also a rally on March 2. https://t.co/LSObDCVbhE— JadedView (@JadedView)1588723036.0
@atrupar https://t.co/UxeqeF1jpV— Louis R. Bridgeman (@Louis R. Bridgeman)1588718871.0
@atrupar @jwgop https://t.co/jnR2eNJXy8— Uncle Carl (@Uncle Carl)1588719155.0
Trump also stumbled badly when asked what he would say to families who lost loved ones.
"Well, that is what it is" -- Really poignant stuff here from Trump on the topic of his message to hurting Americans https://t.co/uUNBPp8FNZ— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1588718860.0
@atrupar This pic of Trump with an infant who was orphaned in the El Paso massacre should give you some insight int… https://t.co/ppM6AwKJfO— NotATweeter16 (@NotATweeter16)1588719026.0
@NotATweeter16 @atrupar This will always be one of lowest displays of human decency by those trumps.— AMY (@AMY)1588719299.0
@atrupar And he doesn't even pause to spare a thought for the people who are hurting - just pivots right into "you… https://t.co/nSXuYEwPVJ— E.Hatt-Swank (@E.Hatt-Swank)1588719290.0
@atrupar Who ELSE prefers a President that DOESN'T GIVE UP against the COVID-19 Pandemic?? ✋✋✋ @realDonaldTrump h… https://t.co/sURVIsc3EI— The Resistor Sister ♥️🇺🇸🦅 (@The Resistor Sister ♥️🇺🇸🦅)1588718900.0
@the_resistor @Peach3146 @atrupar @realDonaldTrump You can't give up if you never try. I want a president who cares about people, not money.— labrat-03 (@labrat-03)1588721393.0
@atrupar Americans, you lost your job? Quarantined? Furloughed? Sick? Out of money? "That is what it is." The "pr… https://t.co/jeTJsJuAVb— Ed Kamen (@Ed Kamen)1588719267.0
@atrupar https://t.co/KC2xvIWz8s— S Galantowicz (@S Galantowicz)1588719218.0
@SuzEeeQFla @atrupar Except when it comes to accepting responsibility, then it's that Obama guy's fault.— Abe Lincoln (@Abe Lincoln)1588720891.0
@AbeLinc87292442 @SuzEeeQFla @atrupar Obama's a better golfer so of course it's his fault.— logansrun (@logansrun)1588722732.0
@logansrun18 @AbeLinc87292442 @SuzEeeQFla @atrupar He doesn’t cheat either.— stillSnarking (@stillSnarking)1588728030.0
Trump then appeared confused while trying to spout his own rhetoric about his only early response to news of the coming pandemic.
"I banned people from coming into China" -- while trying to defend his February comment that the coronavirus would… https://t.co/oihTbzixLC— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1588719156.0
@atrupar https://t.co/jM7zGou5Sw— #RIPGOP ™ (@#RIPGOP ™)1588725161.0
Even Trump's supporters viewed his performance on ABC News as a failure for the President. But while they blamed ABC, Trump's critics cited the President's own shortcomings as the issue.
You can watch the full interview here:
Trump speaks with ABC News' David Muir | WNT youtu.be
After the brief access granted to a non-opinion based news show, unlike the Fox News opinion programs Trump favors, it's hard to say if the access will be granted again any time soon. Only ratings, time and Trump's Twitter feed will tell.