‘You dumb b*****ds’: Trump lays into CNN over amount of Covid-19 coverage and makes series of false claims

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Prescott, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) (AP)

Donald Trump revved up a rally crowd in battleground Arizona by declaring CNN hosts "dumb bastards" for the amount of coronavirus coverage on the cable network.

He opened his first of two Monday campaign events in the state by declaring, as he reportedly did on a call with campaign staff earlier, the American people are "over" the virus – even as it spreads anew in most states.

“They're getting tired of the pandemic, aren't we? You turn on CNN. That's all they cover,” he said to boos. “Covid, covid, pandemic. Covid, covid, covid. They're trying to talk people out of voting.”

“People aren't buying it, CNN, you dumb bastards,” as the president again downplayed the virus – and got a loud cheer.

But moments later, Mr Trump took credit for what he and administration officials have called their collective pushing of private-sector companies working on a vaccine to move faster.

Polls show people are concerned about the still-spreading virus, even as their behaviour does not match what they tell pollsters.

The president appeared to utter more falsehoods, saying his rallies are the biggest ever for any US president. Others have held large rallies in basketball arenas, but Mr Trump has been packing areas for years and outdoor venues this year amid the pandemic.

He also again spoke of mail-in ballots being found in “rivers” and garbage cans – without citing independently corroborated evidence.

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