February 29, 2020
Donald Trump Attacks CNN's John Harwood, Calls Him 'A Total Loser'

CNN White House correspondent John Harwood appears to have gotten under Donald Trump's skin. On Friday night, not long after the president finished a campaign rally, he took to Twitter and took aim at Harwood.

"A so-called reporter named @JohnJHarwood, who bombed so badly in the 2016 Presidential Debates that I thought he was going to be immediately fired (a Mini Mike type performance), is now with Fake News @CNN. A total loser!"
It's not entirely clear what, if anything, Harwood did or said on Friday to draw the ire of Trump, though there are a couple of different things the reporter has done in the last few days that might have gotten the president fired up.

The White House correspondent has spent most of his career covering the financial sector and has made a habit of fact checking Trump's statements on the economy. He pays special attention to what Trump has to say on the stock market, routinely comparing its performance under the current president's tenure to that of his predecessor.

On Friday night, the CNN analyst did tweet out a few numbers which made Trump look bad in comparison to former President Obama. The tweet showed that the stock market under Obama grew 63 percent by February 28 of his fourth year in office. It has only grown 28 percent through the same time period under Trump.

John Harwood speaks on Meet the Press
Getty Images | Alex Wong

The President has had a singular focus on the stock market since he was elected to office, often pointing to its rise as the reason he should be reelected. This week, the Dow Jones has been a thorn in his side. Worries over the coronavirus have seen the market plummet to the worst week of numbers America has experienced since the financial crisis of 2008.

It's also possible Harwood got under the president's skin thanks to an article he authored about the administration's handling of the virus outbreak. Writing for CNN.com, the article was titled "The government had a model for handling Ebola. Trump ditched it." Among the points he made in the piece was that it appeared to be a massive mistake to name Vice President Mike Pence the "coronavirus Czar."

Harwood pointed out that before Pence was a member of the Trump administration, he was the governor of Indiana when the state went through a devastating outbreak of HIV. Medical experts have long blamed the vice president for that outbreak as he was often thought to be anti-science.

With so many perceived slights of Donald Trump from John Harwood this week, it's hard to tell just what specifically caused the president to take aim at the CNN correspondent on Friday night.