President Trump wears facemask for 1st time since pandemic began

The president had declared he was unlikely to wear a facemask before and has even ridiculed Joe Biden who wears one publicly.
5:27 | 07/12/20

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Transcript for President Trump wears facemask for 1st time since pandemic began
Now to president trump wearing a mask in public for the first time since the pandemic began. It came 99 days after the CDC made its mask recommendation. ABC's Rachel Scott is in Washington with more. Rachel, good morning. Reporter: Whit, good morning. Yes, that recommendation from the CDC was issued back in April, and while the president has repeatedly insisted he has no problem wearing a mask, for months he didn't wear one publicly even after facing pressure from his own party to set an example. More than three months after his own administration encouraged Americans to use face masks, president trump decided to wear one in public for the first time. I've never been against masks, but I do believe that they have a time and a time. When you're in hospital, especially in that particular setting when you're talking to a lot of soldiers and people in some cases got off the operating tables I think it's a great thing to wear a mask. Reporter: For months the president has opted out of wearing a mask. It's a recommendation. I won't do it personally. Reporter: Now spotted with the face covering while visiting first responders and wounded veterans at Walter reed medical center, that visit coming nearly after 24 hours after he declared his friend Alabama -- and ally Roger stone a free man. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for giving me the offer. Reporter: Stone was convicted in November on seven felony counts brought against him by special counsel Robert Mueller. Including lying to congress, witness tampering. Roger stone was brought into this witch hunt, this whole political witch hunt, and the Mueller scam, it's a scam, because it's been proven false and he was treated very Reporter: In a rare move, Mueller breaking his silence to defend the investigation and its findings. Writing in "The Washington post," stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so. And two Republicans are speaking out against the president's decision to commute stone's prison sentence. Republican senator pat Toomey calling it a mistake and senator Mitt Romney accusing the president of unprecedented historic corruption. Dan. Let's bring in George Stephanopoulos who will be hosting "This week" later this week. George, good morning. We're sitting on opposite ends of a long socially distanced table. So we have both Robert Mueller and Mitt Romney coming out and speaking out against the commutation of Roger stone's sentence, where does the story go from here? Now that people have discharged their anger. Does it just evaporate or a real political price to be paid for the president? It's hard to know exactly. It's not just Mitt Romney opposed. Inside the white house, several political aides said this could hurt you come November. Even the president's attorney general, Barr said this prosecution was a righteous. You have more Democrats criticizing this move as well include house speaker Pelosi who said he's going to have a law to limit the president's power to pardon people. That's not likely to go anywhere. It's got real constitutional problems. I think the bigger problem for the president is the pattern that you see here. Number two, if you -- he's spending time on this, when you've got two-thirds of the country disapproving of how he's handling the coronavirus crisis and race relations, the biggest issues facing the country right now. Let's talk about the coronavirus crisis, the images of the president wearing mask yesterday, first time he's done so in public since the beginning of pandemic, how consequential do you think this is and do you think it may send a message to Americans who are resisting masking? Well, let's hope so. All of the public health experts say the single most important thing we can do right now to stop or slow the red -- spread is wear masks in public. So the fact that the president timely did this is a good thing even though he attacked, wearing mask a double-edged sword in the past. It could help. It comes at a time when the virus continues to spread in so many parts of the country. The death rate is going up. Unless we have measures -- more measures like more mask wearing, it's very difficult to get the economy moving again. And very difficult to send kids back to school. You have the admiral in charge of testing coming on the show this morning -- we've seen testing leveling off this week, is there a sign that the administration is going to be able to boost the testing coming forward. They'll have to. We're seeing so many hot spots across the country. Right now, 12-hour, 13-hour lines in Arizona this week. At least 13 states ABC news has reported problems with the testing right now. You've even seen some Republican governors like Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas saying it's time to use the defense production act to get more tests out into the states that need it now. You're going to see continue TD calls like that. America in crisis. George is covering it all. George, thank you very much. Thank you. Tune into "This week" later this morning, when George goes one-on-one with president trump's testing czar. Plus, George speaks with democratic congressman Adam Schiff about the president's commutation of Roger stone's prison sentence. That's all coming up later this morning on

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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