Trump called CNN reporter Jim Acosta “a rude, terrible” person Wed. CNN has been targeted by Trump’s infamous “fake news” accusations.
The United States White House revoked CNN reporter Jim Acosta's credentials Wednesday night after he challenged President Donald Trump's rhetoric on the Central American exodus, or migrant caravan, during a post-midterm press conference.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Acosta would be stripped of his “hard pass” which gives journalists access to the White House grounds.
Trump called him “a rude, terrible” person after Acosta insisted on getting an answer on why he had called the migrant caravan an "invasion." "They are hundreds and hundreds of miles away. That is not an invasion," Acosta argued as Trump responded: "that's enough."
The press secretary later said in a statement, “President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern. This conduct is absolutely unacceptable. It is also completely disrespectful to the reporter’s colleagues not to allow them an opportunity to ask a question… As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice.”
Acosta denied this allegation of him trying to place his hands on a female staffer. Videos of the incident clearly show Acosta holding on to the mic as a woman attempts to take it from him. He does not place his hands on the young woman, rather he is shown placing his arm in between the woman and the mic.
CNN producer Allie Malloy responded to Sanders via Twitter, "This is a complete lie. The woman grabbed Jim's arm repeatedly. He never once touched her. In fact at one point @Acosta tells her politely 'pardon me, mam' as she's yanking on his arm."
CNN, which has been accused by Trump as "fake news," brought out a statement in support of its reporter. The revocation of his pass "was done in retaliation for his challenging questions at today's press conference," the statement said. "In an explanation, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders lied. She provided fraudulent accusations and cited an incident that never happened. This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better. Jim Acosta has our full support."
"This President's ongoing attacks on the press have gone too far. They are not only dangerous, but they are also disturbingly un-American,” continues the statement adding, "While President Trump has made it clear he does not respect a free press, he has a sworn obligation to protect it. A free press is vital to democracy, and we stand behind Jim Acosta and his fellow journalists everywhere."
The White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) said in a statement, "Journalists may use a range of approaches to carry out their jobs and the WHCA does not police the tone or frequency of the questions its members ask of powerful senior government officials, including the president. Such interactions, however uncomfortable they may appear to be, help define the strength of our national institutions. We urge the White House to immediately reverse this weak and misguided action."
Peter Baker, the chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, said on Twitter, "This is something I've never seen since I started covering the White House in 1996. Other presidents did not fear tough questioning."