On the same day press secretary Kayleigh McEnany went off on a reporter for asking if Trump supporters firing paintball guns at Portland rioters over the weekend was considered “patriotic activity” by the White House, President Trump had to deal with another supposed reporter who asked a similar question.
CNN correspondent Kaitlan Collins, who has frequently clashed with Trump during press conferences, grabbed for her moment in the spotlight on Monday during a presser in which she noted Trump had said Joe Biden failed to condemn Antifa directly during his disastrous Pennsylvania speech. Collins then went the whataboutism route by asking whether or not Trump would condemn the Portland paintballers.
Here’s how their back and forth went down. Notice how he has to explain to her how paintballs are not anything like live ammunition:
Collins: I have a question about coronavirus. But first, you were just criticizing Joe Biden, saying he didn’t mention the far left or Antifa during his speech today. You said you wanted to talk about left-wing political violence.
But I notice you did not mention that your supporters were also in Portland this weekend, firing paintball guns at people, some form of pepper spray. So do you want to also take this chance to condemn what your supporters did in Portland?
Trump: Well, I understand they had large numbers of people that were supporters, but that was a peaceful protest. And paint is not — and paint is a defensive mechanism; paint is not bullets.
Collins: It’s a paintball gun. It’s a bullet.
Trump: Your supporters — your supporters — and they are your supporters, indeed — shot a young gentleman who — and killed him — not with paint, but with a bullet. And I think it’s disgraceful.
These people, they protested peacefully. They went in very peacefully. And I’ll tell you what they’re protesting: They’re protesting, when they turn on television, or read whatever they may be reading, and they see a city like Chicago, where 78 people were shot and 13 died; or a city like New York, where the crime rate has gone through the roof; or a city like Portland, where the entire city is ablaze all the time, and a mayor says, “We don’t want any help from the federal government.”
When these people turn that on and they see that, they say, “This is not our country. This is not our country.” That was a peaceful protest, totally.
Collins petulantly kept yelling at Trump to condemn the paintballers but he ignored her. Watch the exchange below, via MRC-TV: