CNN Chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta has been denied entrance into the White House for “placing hands on a young woman” trying to take away his microphone while asking U.S. President a question, the same day Trump said he was “rude” and a “terrible person.”
Acosta posted a video on his Twitter account of a U.S. secret service agent taking away his credentials to enter the White House.
“The US Secret Service just asked for my credential to enter the WH,” Acosta wrote. “As I told the officer, I don’t blame him. He is just doing his job.”
In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Acosta’s refusal to give up a microphone to a young staffer who tried to take it away Wednesday at a press conference with Trump is the reason his access has been denied.
“[The White House will] 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,” Sanders said. “As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice.”
The incident in question happened during a tense exchange between Acosta and Trump.
Acosta was repeatedly trying to ask Trump about his referral to a migrant caravan headed to the U.S. from Central America as an “invasion.”
During the question, Trump interrupted and said, “Here we go again.”
As the exchange heated up, Trump said, “I think you should let me run the country, and you run CNN. And if you did it well, your ratings would be much better.”
Acosta tried to ask another question but Trump repeatedly said “that’s enough.”
That’s when the staffer attempted to take Acosta’s microphone away, and Acosta said “excuse me, ma’am,” while he continued to try to ask his question.
That’s when Trump said, “CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person, you shouldn’t be working for CNN.”
Trump said the way Acosta treats Sanders is “horrible.”
Acosta later wrote on Twitter that Sanders explanation for why his access has been revoked is “a lie.”
Commenting on his revoked pass on CNN, Acosta said he does think the U.S. government is “trying to shut us down.”
“I never though in this country I wouldn’t be able to cover [the U.S.] just because I was trying to ask a question,” he said.
CNN has issued a statement after the incident with Trump but before Acosta’s access was revoked that said Trump has “gone too far.”
“This President’s ongoing attacks on the press have gone too far. They are not only dangerous, they are disturbingly un-American,” CNN wrote. “A free press is vital to democracy, and we stand behind Jim Acosta and his fellow journalists everywhere.”
— With files from Rebecca Joseph and Katie Dangerfield
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