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Donald Trump invokes Tom Brady to lash out at media during coronavirus briefing

President Donald Trump used part of his White House coronavirus briefing on Thursday airing his grievances with the media.

He managed to invoke Tom Brady in the process.

While addressing a day that saw the United States eclipse 80,000 confirmed coronavirus cases to overtake Italy as the epicenter of the global pandemic, Trump brought up a conference call he had with the nation’s governors.

Here’s how it went.

“After a meeting with the world leaders, I spoke with the governors of our 50 states and territories,” Trump said. “Our team has been in constant communication with the governors, and we had a terrific meeting.

“Somebody in the fake news said that one of the governors said ‘oh we need Tom Brady.’ I said ‘yeah.’ He meant that in a positive way. He said ‘we need Tom Brady. We’re gonna do great.’ And he meant it very positively. But they took it differently. They think Tom Brady should be leading the effort. That’s only fake news. And I like Tom Brady. Spoke to him the other day. He’s a great guy.”

So what was Trump talking about?

If you’re confused by that, don’t worry. You’re not alone. We did some digging to try to decipher why Brady came up during a White House coronavirus briefing.

While Trump made a “fake news” reference, he didn’t call out any media outlets by name. Our best guess is that the Washington Post — one of Trump’s frequent media targets — is implied in this case.

WaPo’s article on Trump, Brady

The Post published an article on Thursday reporting on Trump’s meeting with governors. The focus of the article is Washington Governor Jay Inslee reportedly channelling Brady while clashing with Trump during the meeting

The headline reads: “Inslee clashes with Trump over his leadership on coronavirus aid: ‘We need a Tom Brady’”.

From the Washington Post story:

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) clashed with President Trump during a conference call with governors on Thursday, pleading with him to take more dramatic action to secure medical supplies for his state as it suffers from the coronavirus pandemic, according to four people familiar with the call.

After Trump told governors that his administration was ready to be the “backup” for states in crisis, Inslee spoke up and said to the president, “We don’t need a backup. We need a Tom Brady,” a reference to the Super Bowl-winning quarterback who has been friendly with the president, said the people familiar with the exchange with the president, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private conference call.

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Thursday, March 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump’s take on meeting different that WaPo’s

While the Post reports that Inslee referenced Brady as a beacon of leadership that Trump isn’t living up to, Trump told reporters that the Brady reference in the meeting was meant to reflect positively on him.

The source of tension according to the Post involves states and municipalities pleading with the federal government for more relief as supplies to treat COVID-19 patients are short.

Inslee, whom Trump called a “snake” earlier in March after he criticized the president’s coronavirus response, declined to comment to the Post for their report.

The part about Trump claiming “fake news” thinking Brady “should be leading the effort”?

Your guess is as good as ours.

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