Jim Acosta's press card for the White House has been suspended for the time being, Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Wednesday. The President had previously called the journalist during a press conference because of persistent demands as "outrageous, terrible person" and "enemy of the people".
Acosta had questioned Donald Trump about his verbal attacks on the Central American refugees, who are now in their thousands on their way to the US. When asked by the journalist if he had deliberately "demonized" the refugee treks in the election campaign, Trump initially reacted evasively.
When Acosta followed up, pointing out that the migrants were unlikely to speak of an "invasion," Trump told reporters, "Honestly, let me lead the country, they run CNN, and if you were good, they would be the ratings higher." CNN must be ashamed to employ a person like Acosta.
Donald Trump – US President insults CNN reporter
At a press conference on congressional elections, Donald Trump delivered verbal combat with journalists. "You are a terrible, outrageous person," the president told CNN reporter Jim Acosta.
© Photo: REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst
The journalist was not deterred and asked for an opinion on the Russia investigation. Trump shouted to Acosta, "That's enough, drop the microphone," which the journalist did not do. A White House employee then tried to take the microphone from him. Government spokeswoman Sanders then said it was "completely unacceptable" that Acosta had touched the employee. On television, the woman stood next to Acosta, who gestured, then lowered an arm that fell on the employee's. In retrospect, Acosta apologized to her. In response to Sanders' statement, Acosta wrote in the short message service Twitter that it was a lie that he had put his hands on the woman.
Reporter Jim Acosta is considered one of the most present members of the press corps, accompanying Trump's policies. The CNN journalist had been the target for verbal attacks on Trump's election rallies. Almost two years before his inauguration, Donald Trump had clashed with Acosta in New York because he had not liked his questions. At that time he had accused him: "They are fake news" and threatened to let Acosta out of the room.
"Disturbingly un-American" CNN condemned Trump's comments. "The president's constant attacks on the press have gone too far," states a statement. "Not only are they dangerous, they are disturbingly un-American." Although Trump has sworn allegiance to the freedom of the press as enshrined in the US Constitution, he is obliged to protect it, but he has repeatedly made it clear that he has no respect for the freedom of the press. "We stand behind Jim Acosta and his colleagues everywhere," says the management's response to Trump's argument with the reporter.
The White House Accredited Correspondents Association (WHCA) has criticized the withdrawal of accreditation for Acosta as "weak and misguided". To revoke access to the White House is disproportionate to the alleged offense and is unacceptable, according to a statement. The WHCA ordered the White House to reverse the decision.
Also causing a stir at the same press conference Trump's allegation to the black reporter Yamiche Alcindor of the station PBS, she had asked him a racist question. She had asked him about his election campaign – in which he had called himself a nationalist – what he said about allegations that the Republicans supported white nationalists because of the President's rhetoric.