In Trump’s Words: Praise for the Taliban and Optimism About the Coronavirus

On the coronavirus, Mr. Trump at the news conference initially said that the Mexican border could be a port of entry for infected people, and that he had the power to limit access.

“Yes, we are thinking about the southern border,” he said. “We have received a lot of power on the southern border over the last couple of years from the courts, but we are looking at that very strongly.”

Minutes later, he contradicted himself.

“But right now, that is not a border as it pertains to what we’re talking about here,” he said at the news conference about the coronavirus. “This is not a border that seems to be much of a problem right now. We hope we won’t have to do that.”

At the news conference, he was asked about comments he had made on Friday when he denounced Democrats, describing the concerns they have expressed about the administration’s virus preparations as “their new hoax” after the Russia investigation and then impeachment.

“Hoax referring to the action that they take to try and pin this on somebody because we’ve done such a good job, the hoax is on them,” Mr. Trump said. “I’m not talking about what’s happening here; I’m talking what they’re doing. That’s the hoax, that’s just a continuation of the hoax, whether it’s the impeachment hoax or the Russia, Russia, Russia hoax. This is what I’m talking about.”

“This is very serious,” he added. He again accused Democrats of criticizing federal health workers, who, he said, “have done such an incredible job.”

“And I don’t like it when they are criticizing these people, and that’s the hoax,” Mr. Trump said. “That’s what I’m talking about.”

Michael Levenson contributed reporting.