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Donald Trump Snaps at Reporter: 'Don't Ever Speak to the President That Way'

Virginia Chamlee
·3-min read


President Donald Trump snapped at a reporter while taking questions for the first time since the 2020 presidential election on Thursday.

The president was being asked about how he would respond to the results by Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason when he began chiding the journalist.

"Just to be clear: If the electoral college votes for Joe Biden, will you concede?" Mason asked Trump at the start of their exchange.

"Well, if they do, they've made a mistake, because this election was a fraud, just so you understand. This election was a fraud," Trump responded, again repeating unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud. "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."

As Mason continued to ask his original question, Trump appeared to grow agitated and interjected.

"Don't talk to me that way. You're just a lightweight. Don't talk to me that way," Trump said. "Don't talk to — I'm the president of the United States. Don't ever talk to the president that way."

Trump then said he was going to "go with another question," and called on another reporter.

When that reporter echoed Mason's question — asking Trump if he would "leave the building" if President-elect Biden’s victory is confirmed by the electoral college — he said "certainly" he would.

On Friday, Mason told CNN's New Day that the combative exchange "caught [him] off guard."

"Yesterday, I 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.

The president has previously jabbed at Mason for wearing a face mask during a press conference.

Mason told New Day co-anchor John Berman that it's "not awesome" to be attacked by the president.

"It caught me off guard. I really was not expecting him to yell," Mason continued. "But he did, and he was upset."

RELATED: Trump's Legal Team Drops Attorney Who Spread Bizarre Conspiracy Theories of How He Lost to Biden

Trump has rarely been seen in public since he lost the election to Democratic opponent Biden, instead making baseless allegations of voter fraud in numerous tweets, many of which have been flagged as containing false information by Twitter.

Though Trump has expressed doubts that Biden could have outpaced Obama in votes, it's not too surprising considering the historic turnout in the 2020 election, which was held amid a worldwide pandemic.

Together, Biden and Trump received more than 150 million ballots, with each obtaining a record number of votes.

Biden is officially the first presidential candidate to receive more than 80 million votes in a U.S. election. According to Cook Political Report's popular-vote tracker, Biden had 80,219,445 votes as of Friday afternoon, while Trump had 73,949,043. Vote-counting continues in some states.

RELATED: Joe Biden Is the First Presidential Candidate to Get More Than 80 Million Votes

The Trump campaign's unsuccessful attempts to contest the election in courtrooms across the country ultimately led to weeks of delays in what has traditionally been a smooth transition between administrations.

The current administration has officially begun assisting the Biden transition, though, after the administrator of the federal General Services Administration granted her approval to begin the process.