President Donald Trump got testy on Thursday after an ABC News reporter called him out for lying about the threat of the coronavirus.

Trump has been criticized for the way he has handled the COVID-19 pandemic, especially after The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward revealed in his upcoming book, “Rage,” that the president privately admitted that the contagious disease was serious while acknowledging in a videotaped interview that he was intentionally downplaying the escalating danger in his public statements to avoid “a frenzy.”

ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl asked the often fact-challenged president a direct question about the disconnect.

“Why did you lie to the American people? And why should we trust what you have to say now?” Karl asked.

The president immediately tore into Karl.

“That’s a terrible question and the phraseology,” Trump replied. “I didn’t lie. What I said is we have to be calm. We can’t be panicked.”

The president then tried to deflect the question by suggesting the lying is Woodward’s fault:

“These are a series of phone calls, mostly phone calls. Bob Woodward is somebody that I respect just from hearing the name for many, many years. Not knowing too much about his work, not caring about his work. But I thought it would be interesting to talk to him for a period of calls. So we did that. I don’t know if it’s good or bad. I don’t know if the book is good or bad.

“Certainly if he thought that was a bad statement, he would have reported it because he thinks that, you know, you don’t want to have anybody that is going to suffer medically because of some fact. He didn’t report it because he didn’t think it was bad. Nobody thought it was bad.

“Wait a minute. And your question, the way you phrased that is such a disgrace. It’s a disgrace to ABC television network, it’s a disgrace to your employer. And that’s your answer.”

.@jonkarl: "Why did you lie to the American people? Why should we trust what you have to say now?"President Trump: Such a terrible question and the phraseology. I didn't lie." Full video here: https://t.co/EYGgLk4KMP pic.twitter.com/T5dmwDNIP0

— CSPAN (@cspan) September 10, 2020

Karl’s question may not have pleased Trump, but many Twitter users said they appreciated it.

Raise your hand if you appreciate Jon Karl for calling out Trump for lying to the American people. 🙋‍♂️

— Chip Franklin (@chipfranklin) September 10, 2020

Kudos @jonkarl. The WHPC needs to ask “why did you lie?” way more… pic.twitter.com/oNUCp5aUoM

— Andy Ostroy (@AndyOstroy) September 10, 2020

"Why did you lie?"GREAT QUESTION. That alone deserves Jon Karl of ABC a follow from all my Tweeps, eh? This is the kind of journalism we do want CC @jonkarl

— Tomi T Ahonen (@tomiahonen) September 10, 2020

Trump: "Which time?"#TrumpLiesAmericansDie #TrumpPressConference @jonkarl https://t.co/WA81mWKUKq

— Tara Dublin Is Anti-Fascism #BidenHarris2020 (@taradublinrocks) September 10, 2020

Every single reporter in every single press conference should keep asking this essential question.👇🏼Bravo and thank you, @jonkarl. pic.twitter.com/60D3hdDCln

— Fernand R. Amandi (@AmandiOnAir) September 10, 2020

@jonkarl Great question! I would follow with: "When have you NOT lied to Americans?" https://t.co/USg6e3LL8D

— Ariaa Jaeger (@AriaaJaeger) September 10, 2020 A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus What should you still be disinfecting to prevent COVID-19? Is it possible you had coronavirus earlier this year? How can you manage your anxiety as coronavirus restrictions lift? Here’s the latest on how long COVID-19 antibodies last. How will COVID-19 change your office? Laid off and lost your health insurance? You have options. Everything you need to know about face masks right now. Find all our coronavirus coverage here. Everyone deserves accurate information about COVID-19. Support journalism without a paywall — and keep it free for everyone — by becoming a HuffPost member today. HuffPost testPromoTitleReplace testPromoDekReplace Join HuffPost Today!No thanks. HuffPost Important conversations are happening now. Add your voice! Join HuffPost Today! Download Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter Join HuffPost

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