Donald Trump was left startled after a reporter asked him if he regretted “all the lying”.
The US president skirted the question from Huffington Post’s S.V. Dáte during a press briefing at the White House on Thursday – quickly turning his attention to another
“Mr President, after three and a half years [of Trump’s presidency], do you regret at all, all the lying you’ve done to the American people?” Mr Dáte said.
Looking bemused by the question, Trump responded: “All the what?”
Briefly cupping his hand up to his face, Mr Dáte said: “All the lying, all the dishonesties.”
Trump answered: “That who has done?”
“You have done,” said the Post’s White House correspondent, before beginning to add: “Tens of thousands–”, though Trump cut him off.
Mr Dáte later admitted he was shocked himself to be even given the chance to speak by the president.
“I don’t know why he called on me, because I’ve tried to ask him before [in March] and he’s cut me off mid-question. Maybe he didn’t recognise me this time,” he told the Guardian.
“You know, he has this group of folks that he normally asks questions of.”
He said his question is the “one thing that is really central to his presidency” but admitted he wasn’t surprised by Trump’s response.
Mr Dáte added that he’s confident he would be allowed into future briefings and if given the chance, will ask the question again.
In July, the Washington Post reported that the president has told more than 20,000 “false or misleading claims” during his time in office.
It comes as Trump’s former lawyer has claimed he witnessed “golden showers, tax fraud, a secret backchannel to Putin, and lying to Melania” during his time with the president.
Michael Cohen goes on to call his former boss “a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man”.
The bombshell claims are made in the lawyer’s upcoming book entitled Disloyal.
Cohen worked closely with Trump for years before turning against him, most publicly in testimony to Congress last year prior to Trump’s impeachment.
Cohen said he knows where Trump’s metaphorical “skeletons” are buried because he buried them.
Trump has, meanwhile, vowed to permanently eliminate the payroll tax if he wins the November election – claiming it will save American families as much as $5,000 a year.