WH Bans CNN Reporter Acosta as Trump Spars with Reporters

HeadlineNov 08, 2018

The White House has banned CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, in a move widely condemned as an attack on press freedom. In a statement, CNN said, “This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy.” Jim Acosta’s White House press pass was revoked hours after he questioned President Trump about why he has described the Central American migrant caravan as an invasion.

Jim Acosta: “They’re hundreds of miles away, though. They’re hundreds and hundreds of miles away.”

President Donald Trump: “You know what?”

Jim Acosta: “That’s not an invasion.”

President Donald Trump: “I think you should—honestly, I think you should let me run the country. You run CNN.”

Jim Acosta: “Alright.”

President Donald Trump: “And if you did it well, your ratings would be much better.”

Jim Acosta: “Well, let me ask, if I may ask one other question.”

President Donald Trump: “OK, that’s enough.”

Jim Acosta: “Mr. President, if I may ask one other question—”

President Donald Trump: “Peter, go ahead.”

Jim Acosta: “Are you worried—”

President Donald Trump: “That’s enough! That’s enough.”

Jim Acosta: “Mr. President, I was going to ask one other—”

President Donald Trump: “That’s enough.”

Jim Acosta: “The other folks have had—”

President Donald Trump: “That’s enough.”

Jim Acosta: “Pardon me, ma’am, I’m—Mr. President—”

President Donald Trump: “Excuse me, that’s enough.”

Jim Acosta: “Mr. President, I had one other question, if I may ask—”

President Donald Trump: “Peter, let’s go.”

Jim Acosta: “—on the Russia investigation. Are you concerned that you have indictments—”

President Donald Trump: “I’m not concerned about anything with the Russian investigation—”

Jim Acosta: “That you may have indictments coming down—”

President Donald Trump: “—because it’s a hoax.”

Jim Acosta: “Are you—”

President Donald Trump: “That’s enough. Put down the mic.”

Jim Acosta: “Mr. President, are you worried about indictments coming down in this investigation?”

Peter Alexander: “Mr. President—”

President Donald Trump: “I’ll tell you what: CNN should be ashamed of itself, having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN. Go ahead.”

Jim Acosta: “I think that’s unfair. I’ve worked—”

President Donald Trump: “You’re a very rude person. The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible. And the way you treat other people are horrible. You shouldn’t treat people that way. Go ahead.”

Peter Alexander: “In Jim—”

President Donald Trump: “Go ahead, Peter. Go ahead.”

Peter Alexander: “In Jim’s defense, I’ve traveled with him and watched him. He’s a diligent reporter who busts his butt like the rest of us.”

President Donald Trump: “Well, I’m not a big fan of yours, either. So, you know.”

Peter Alexander: “I understand.”

President Donald Trump: “To be honest with you.”

Peter Alexander: “So let me—so let me ask you a question, if I can. You repeatedly said—”

Unidentified: “Show respect.”

President Donald Trump: “You aren’t—you aren’t the best.”

Peter Alexander: “Mr. President, you repeatedly, over the course of the—”

Jim Acosta: “[inaudible] called the enemy of the people—”

President Donald Trump: “OK, just sit down, please.”

Jim Acosta: “[inaudible] campaign, and sent pipe bombs. That’s just—”

President Donald Trump: “Well, when you—when you report fake news—no, when you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people.”

President Trump’s attack on Jim Acosta and CNN comes two weeks after the network was sent a mail bomb by a Trump fanatic in Florida. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the decision to strip Acosta of his press badge, claiming he had “placed his hands on a young woman”—referring to an intern who was trying to take his microphone during the press conference. Acosta quickly responded on Twitter, “This is a lie.” Video of the incident does not show Acosta placing his hands on the intern.

Trump also clashed with veteran African-American reporter April Ryan and repeatedly told her to “sit down” as she tried to ask a question about voter suppression. When PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor, who is also black, asked Trump about his recent comments declaring himself a nationalist, he responded that it was a racist question.

Yamiche Alcindor: “On the campaign trail, you called yourself a nationalist. Some people saw that as emboldening white nationalists. Now people are also saying that the—”

President Donald Trump: “I don’t know why you’d say that. It’s such a racist question.”

Yamiche Alcindor: “There are some people that say that now the Republican Party is seen as supporting white nationalists because of your rhetoric.”

President Donald Trump: “Oh, I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that.”

Yamiche Alcindor: “What do you make of that?”

President Donald Trump: “I don’t believe it. I just—well, I don’t know. Why do I have my highest poll numbers ever with African Americans? Why do I have among the highest poll numbers with African Americans? I mean, why do I have my highest poll numbers? That’s such a racist question. Honestly? I mean, I know you have it written down, and you’re going to tell me. Let me tell you: That’s a racist question.”

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