President TrumpDonald John TrumpDHS expands authority of personnel to collect information on people threatening monuments: report GOP signals Trump’s payroll-tax cut in Republican coronavirus bill — for now Trump threatens to double down on Portland in other major cities MORE was seen in video footage at his Washington, D.C., fundraiser Monday night without a mask hours after tweeting that it’s “patriotic” to wear one.
Video posted to Instagram showed the president talking to supporters at the Trump International Hotel without a mask. A few people captured in the clip are wearing masks, but most opted not to wear one.
The clip was posted by GOP congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn, who beat a Trump-backed candidate in the Republican primary last month.
The White House told The Hill in a statement that “everyone who attended the fundraiser was tested” for the coronavirus.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany addressed the video during Tuesday’s press briefing, saying the White House believes Trump is “acting appropriately.”
“The president has always been consistent on this that masks are, according to the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], recommended but not required,” she said.
“The president is the most tested man in America,” she added.
Just hours after tweeting that wearing masks was “patriotic,” Trump was captured on video in his own DC hotel greeting supporters without wearing a face mask.
— 11th Hour (@11thHour) July 21, 2020
Hours before the event, Trump tweeted out a photo of himself in a mask, calling the act “patriotic.” The president’s post represented his likely most vocal support for mask-wearing since the pandemic began.
“We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance,” Trump tweeted in the afternoon.
“There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!” he added.
We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President! pic.twitter.com/iQOd1whktN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2020
Trump has avoided wearing a mask in public, but he was seen with a mask in front of cameras for the first time two weeks ago while visiting wounded veterans at Walter Reed. The photo he tweeted was taken during that visit.
Critics of the president have condemned him for not setting an example by wearing a mask more often, but Trump has defended his actions, saying he doesn’t have to wear a mask because people around him are tested.
D.C. requires people to wear masks when completing essential business or when traveling when social distancing isn’t possible. Masks are required in grocery stores, pharmacies and takeout restaurants where social distancing cannot be maintained.
Brett Samuels contributed.