Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 08 Nov 2018
Washington, Nov 8: The White House has suspended CNN reporter Jim Acosta for allegedly behaving inappropriately with a female intern during a press conference of US President Donald Trump where the journalist concerned was rebuked by the US president repeatedly as he continued to ask questions.
During the press conference after results of US midterm elections were declared, Acosta got into a verbal conflict with Trump over the word "invasion".
When the intern tried to take the microphone from Acosta, the latter resisted leading to a certain physical touch.
Informing that Acosta's press card has been revoked, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sandars tweeted, "As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice."
As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice.— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 8, 2018
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...— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 8, 2018
What was the incident?
During the press brief, Acosta had challenged Trump's use of the word "invasion" to describe a mighty caravan heading from to the US from Central America.
When Acosta tried to ask Trump about Russian probe into an alleged interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, the President asked the CNN reporter to put down his mic saying, "that's enough".
When a woman then came to take the mic from Acosta, the latter resisted. Trump, who seemed to be disgusted, walked away from podium to only return and say, "I 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....You are a very rude person."
Bringing the name of the White Press Secretary, Trump then said: "The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is terrible. And the way you treat other people are horrible. You shouldn't treat people that way."
White House's full response:
In a series of tweets, Sarah slammed Acosta and alleged that the reporter had misbehaved with the woman during the press conference.
Sarah said: "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..."
Claiming that Trump is the only US President to give such a huge number of press passes, she said: "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. President Trump has given the press more access than any President in history."
Slamming the CNN, the White House Press Secretary said: "Contrary to CNN’s assertions there is no greater demonstration of the President’s support for a free press than the event he held today. Only they would attack the President for not supporting a free press in the midst of him taking 68 questions from 35 different reporters...
"...over the course of 1.5 hours including several from the reporter in question. The fact that CNN is proud of the way their employee behaved is not only disgusting, it‘s an example of their outrageous disregard for everyone, including young women, who work in this Administration"
Reactions from Acosta and CNN:
Acosta took to Twitter to say the allegation against him is a "lie".
He said: "This is a lie."
In a follow up tweet, Acosta said: "Don’t believe the lies coming from the WH. Believe in our freedoms. Thank you all for your support. We won’t back down."
Supporting Acosta over the incident, CNN said in a tweet that the press pass was revoked in retaliation against the reporter's challenging questions.