AceShowbiz - CNN and its reporter Jim Acosta have responded after his White House pass was pulled following a vicious confrontation with President Donald Trump during a press conference on Wednesday, November 7. WH Press Secretary Sarah Sanders claimed that Acosta placed "his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern."
Denying that he placed his hands on a woman during the heated exchange, Acosta wrote in reply to Sanders' tweets, "This is a lie." In a statement, CNN said that the revocation of his pass "was done in retaliation for his challenging questions at today's press conference."
This is a lie. https://t.co/FastFfWych— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) November 8, 2018
Echoing Acosta's denial, the network 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."
During the press conference, Trump was upset as soon as Acosta asked him about the President's claim there was an impending invasion by people in the refugee caravan. The President tried to shut the reporter down, but he refused to put down his mic and asked another question. A White House staffer then approached him and grabbed the mic to give it to the next reporter, but Acosta held onto it.
As Acosta continued talking to Trump, the female staffer ducked out of camera view. Trump ignored Acosta and tried to move on to NBC's Peter Alexander. "If I can ask, on the Russia investigation," Acosta pressed him, "are you concerned that you may have indictments coming down." Trump answered, "I am not concerned about anything with the Russian investigation because it is a hoax," once again telling him to put down the mic.
At 7 P.M., Acosta tweeted that he was stopped at the White House's Pennsylvania Avenue gate where reporters usually enter and was asked by a Secret Service agent to give up his hard pass.
The US Secret Service just asked for my credential to enter the WH. As I told the officer, I don’t blame him. I know he’s just doing his job. (Sorry this video is not rightside up) pic.twitter.com/juQeuj3B9R— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) November 8, 2018
In a statement, Sanders explained the decision to revoke Acosta's press pass, "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."
Calling his conduct "absolutely unacceptable," Sanders added, "It is also completely disrespectful to the reporter's colleagues not to allow them an opportunity to ask a question. President Trump has given the press more access than any President in history."
Sanders further slammed the network, "The fact that CNN is proud of the way their employee behaved is not only disgusting, it is an example of their outrageous disregard for everyone, including young women, who work in this Administration. As a result of today's incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice."
In a follow-up tweet, Sanders said, "We stand by our decision to revoke this individual’s hard pass. We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video."
We stand by our decision to revoke this individual’s hard pass. We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video. pic.twitter.com/T8X1Ng912y— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 8, 2018
The White House's decision to revoke Acosta's pass has caused concerns among the White House press corps. 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."
WHCA statement on White House decision on credentials. pic.twitter.com/bukK7CGu2G— WHCA (@whca) November 8, 2018
The White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) also condemned the move. It stated, "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."