Piers Morgan Criticizes Trump for "Failing the American People" Amid Virus Crisis

Donald Trump Piers Morgan Split - Getty - H 2018
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Speaking on Sunday morning to Brian Stelter on CNN's 'Reliable Sources,' the British talk show host offered his take on how his "friend" is handling the pandemic: "I've known him a long time. I consider him to be a friend, but I've been watching these daily briefings with mounting horror."

As President Donald Trump has been holding daily press briefings to provide updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, Piers Morgan is speaking out against his "friend," criticizing how he's been handling leading the nation amid the virus crisis. 

Speaking on Sunday morning to Brian Stelter on CNN's Reliable Sources, the British talk show host admitted that he's been watching Trump's daily briefings with "mounting horror." 

"I've known him a long time. I consider him to be a friend, but I've been watching these daily briefings with mounting horror, frankly, because this is not what the president should be doing. He won't want me saying this, but I'm gonna say it anyway," he began. 

Morgan went on to explain that he thinks throughout the pandemic, Trump and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson have exemplified their inability to "segue into being war leaders" because "they're still playing the old games of party politics." 

Speaking further on Trump, Morgan detailed the traits that the president is lacking that are needed in order to tackle a pandemic. "They've got to be calm. They got to show authority. They have to be honest. They have to be accurate, timely factual with what they're telling the people and they have to have the ability to show empathy," he said.

"At almost every level of that, Donald Trump at the moment is failing the American people," he added. Rather than offering information, Morgan said he believes Trump is "turning these briefings into a self-aggrandizing, self-justifying, overly defensive, politically partisan — almost like a rally to him." 

Rather than fighting COVID-19, Morgan argued Trump is giving more importance to "winning the election in November."

"What is more important right now is saving American lives, and I believe that the complacency that the American and British administrations showed in the first few weeks of this crisis has been extremely damaging to both country's ability to deal with coronavirus," he asserted. "But it's not too late for them to now get a grip and actually make the attack of the virus their number one priority." 

Going forward, Trump and Johnson must stop "pumping themselves up" and "telling us all day what a great job they're doing," Morgan said, but rather "actually focusing on what matters, and that is human life." 

Later in the interview, Morgan warned the president to stop caring so much about the election and "making it about yourself." "I don’t care about the election. Nobody should care about the election. Donald Trump, if he’s listening to this or watching, you will win the election in November if you get this right," he said. "If you stop making it about yourself and make it about the American people and show that you care about them over yourself, you will win." 

Morgan then added: "If you don't get it right, more Americans will die." 

After Stelter asked Morgan whether he has any fears that he's risking his friendship with Trump by expressing criticism, Morgan assured that he's "tried to be candid” with Trump but isn't concerned "about the niceties of whether Donald Trump is going to be offended." He added: "He has to put the country before himself. He has to put Americans before electioneering. He has to remind himself every day, what can I do today to prevent more lives being killed? Not how can I score more petty points." 

Morgan competed and won The Apprentice, hosted by Trump, in 2008.