President Donald Trump said Friday that the members of his golf club, Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, New Jersey, were attending a “peaceful protest” against the “fake news” when asked why they weren’t following social distancing protocols.

Prior to the White House press briefing at the club, members of Trump’s golf club were standing side by side in the conference room with only a few of them wearing face masks.

“You said that the pandemic is disappearing, but we lost 6,000 Americans this week, and just in this room, you have dozens of people who are not following the guidelines in New Jersey,” a reporter said during the press conference, which received boos from the crowd.

“You’re wrong about that because it’s a political activity,” Trump replied, “And it’s also a peaceful protest. To me, they all look like they pretty much all have masks on,” Trump said, which got cheers from his supporters.

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The members, however, weren’t fully wearing any face mask for at least a half an hour until some put them on when they were given ones by staffers.

“You have an exclusion in the law it says peaceful protest. I’d call it peaceful protest because they know you’re coming up, and they know the news is fake,” Trump said.

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