Although Trump was visibly angered by his subsequent refusal to remove his mask from the press pool, Mason simply raised his voice even louder.
After starting to speak, Trump said, “You’re going to have to take it off, please. You can remove it. How many feet are you? ”
When Mason said he would rather speak louder, the president said, “Well, if you don’t take it off you’re very choked, so if you take it off it would be a lot easier. “
However, Mason held on and raised his voice, asking, “Is this better?” To which Trump rolled his eyes and replied “yeah”.
Later, when another reporter took off his mask to speak, the president told him, “You look so clear. ”
Trump clashed with Mason in May in a similar debate, telling him he was trying to be “politically correct” by keeping his mask on.
The president was not pictured in public with a mask until mid-July during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., After saying they were not needed.
At the time, Trump insisted that he “had never been against masks” but, in April, said: “I don’t think I’m going to do this. Wearing a face mask to greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens – I just don’t see it. ”
It comes after urging supporters at a rally in Latrobe, Pa. On Thursday to wear masks over Labor Day weekend before berating Democratic rival Joe Biden for “loving” them too much.
The two stepped up their rhetoric yesterday as the presidential campaign entered its traditional homestretch.
Trump has described Biden, whom he follows in national polls, as a threat to the economy and “stupid,” while Biden has targeted Trump’s reported bashing of fallen troops.
Speaking at a White House press conference, Trump said: “Biden and his very liberal roommate [Kamala Harris], the most liberal person in Congress for that matter – is not a competent person in my opinion, would destroy this country and destroy this economy. ”
Trump also once again pushed back a report in the Atlantic that he called fallen US soldiers “suckers” and “losers”, calling it a “hoax.”
The story dominated media coverage for days and threatened Trump’s support among veterans and the military, a key voting bloc.
“There is no one who respects not only our military people, but also the people who gave their lives in the military,” Trump said.
Biden quoted the remarks reported during his campaign in Pennsylvania.
Referring to his son Beau Biden, who served in Iraq as a member of the Delaware National Guard and died of brain cancer in 2015, he said: “Beau was neither a loser nor a jerk. … He served with heroes. ”
Trump struggled to change the contours of the campaign despite heavily laden rhetoric about racial polarization and “law and order.”