Donald Trump stormed out of a press conference after telling an Asian-American journalist to “ask China” why people are dying from coronavirus.
China-born CBS reporter Weijia Jiang asked the US president “why are you saying that to me?” before he implied her previous question had been “nasty”.
Trump then appeared to invite a different member of the press to ask a question while Ms Jiang was still speaking, before back peddling and then walking off the stage.
Ms Jiang, who was raised in China until she was two, had challenged the president on why he and his administration continually boasted about conducting the most coronavirus tests in the world.
“You have said many times that the US is doing far better than any other country when it comes to testing,” she said.
“Why does that matter? Why is this a global competition to you if every day Americans are still losing their lives and we’re still seeing more cases every day?”
The press conference then took an increasingly bizarre turn when Trump responded: “Well, they’re losing their lives everywhere in the world.
“And maybe that’s a question you should ask China.
“Don’t ask me. Ask China that question. OK? When you ask them that question, you may get a very unusual answer.”
The president then tried to take a question from CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins before Ms Jiang said: “Sir, why are you saying that to me, specifically? That I should ask China.”
“I’m not saying it specifically to anybody,” Trump said. “I’m saying it to anybody that would ask a nasty question like that.”
“That’s not a nasty question,” Jiang replied. “Why does it matter?”
Trump ignored the comment and then attempted to skip over Ms Collins’ question and go to another reporter but the correspondent reminded him he had invited her to speak.
“I did, and you didn’t respond,” Trump said. “And now I’m calling on the young lady in the back, please.”
“I just want to let my colleague finish, but can I ask you a question,” Collins said.
Trump then ended the press conference and walked off the stage.