NEW YORK (AP) – ABC’s Cecilia Vega and CNN’s Kaitlan Collins were targets of a combative President Donald Trump for asking questions about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at the White House on Monday.
Trump called on Vega at the start of the Rose Garden event on trade and appeared to mock her.
“She’s shocked that I picked her,” Trump said. “She’s, like, in a state of shock.”
He appeared to mishear Vega as she answered him, “I’m not. Thank you, Mr. President.”
“That’s OK,” he said. “I know you’re not thinking. You never do.”
“I’m sorry?” Vega responded.
“Go ahead,” Trump said.
Vega asked him to clarify his feelings about the limits of the FBI investigation into Kavanaugh. Trump stopped her, saying he would talk about the subject later but first wanted to answer questions about trade. Vega pivoted to ask him about the prospects for trade legislation before Congress.
Later, Collins attempted to change the subject to ask two questions about the Kavanaugh investigation, and Trump wasn’t having it.
“Don’t do that. That’s not nice,” he said, adding that he wanted to answer a question about trade and moving on to another reporter.
He came back to Collins, however, and she asked if he would consider it disqualifying if Kavanaugh was found to have been lying to the Senate Judiciary Committee when testifying about a woman’s claim he sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers. Trump talked about his surprise in how much Kavanaugh had talked about beer and noted that people weren’t asking about Kavanaugh’s behavior over the last 20 years.
“You didn’t answer my question, Mr. President,” Collins said when he was done.
Trump went on to discuss how he had avoided alcohol.
Collins tried again.
“You know what? You’ve really had enough,” Trump said. “You’ve had enough.”
Later, Vega tweeted: “A news conference means you get to ask whatever question you want to ask. #FirstAmendment.”
Collins retweeted it with the message, “Ditto.”
Neither ABC nor CNN had an immediate comment.
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