Yamiche Alcindor said she plans to “press forward” after a tense confrontation with Donald Trump at Sunday’s coronavirus presser, in which the president berated the black reporter in an attack that many believed had racial undertones.
Alcindor had tried to question Trump about his statements questioning whether states really needed the amount of respirators they had requested in order to address coronavirus patients, but was cut off by the president. Trump appeared to grow angry, denying he had made those statements and admonishing “you people” to be more positive when addressing him.
Many saw that as having racial undertones, and in a response on Sunday, Alcindor said she is not the first black person to hear that kind of remark.
“President Trump today at the White House said to me: ‘Be nice. Don’t be threatening.’ I’m not the first human being, woman, black person or journalist to be told that while doing a job,” she wrote on Twitter. “My take: Be steady. Stay focused. Remember your purpose. And, always press forward.”
Alcindor has been the target of Trump’s ire in the past as well, and after Sunday’s incident, she saw plenty of support from fellow reporters. Jemele Hill, a fellow black woman journalist who herself had come under attack from Trump after she called him a “white supremacist,” had praise for her PBS News colleague.
“Couldn’t be prouder of @Yamiche for refusing to be intimidated,” she tweeted. “This is real journalism. What’s sad is that she has to take this on a regular basis from this condescending a**hole.”
“Yamiche Alcindor is a consummate professional. She is a world-class journalist… She also gets under the president's skin because she asks probing & direct questions time & again at the briefings.” @PhilipRucker on President Trump telling @Yamiche’s to “be nice" pic.twitter.com/AaBZNC7WSk
— Kasie DC (@KasieDC) March 30, 2020
Others praised CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond, who was called on by Trump after he cut off Alcindor and did not allow her to complete her second question. Diamond responded by handing the microphone back to Alcindor. She also expressed her thanks via Twitter, earning his praise for her tough and unrelenting questioning of Trump in the face of his attack.
“Anytime, @Yamiche.. I know you would have done the same,” he tweeted. “Hard questions aren’t illegitimate questions and they shouldn’t be shut down. Let’s keep up the solidarity in the White House press corps.”
This is not the first time that Trump has lost his cool with a reporter during one of his daily coronavirus briefings. He also appeared to grow angry at a reporter who asked about the economy grinding to a halt and called Peter Alexander a “terrible reporter” after Alexander asked the president if he had a message for Americans who are frightened at the spread of the virus.