White House pulls CNN reporter Jim Acosta's pass after contentious news conference
By Brian Stelter, CNN Business
Updated 10:58 PM EST, Wed November 07, 2018
.......Acosta was one of the first reporters Trump called on. "Thank you, Mr. President," he said. "I want to challenge you on one of the statements that you made in the tail end of the campaign."
Trump leaned into the mic and said, "Here we go"
— seemingly relishing the confrontation.
Acosta brought up the migrants traveling from Central America toward the US southern border, and the racist ad referring to them that the Trump campaign released last week.
"As you know, Mr. President, the caravan is not an invasion," Acosta said. "It's a group of migrants moving up from Central America towards the border with the US--"
Trump, sarcastically, replied, "Thank you for telling me that, I appreciate it."
Acosta: "Why did you characterize it as such?""Because I consider it an invasion. You and I have a difference of opinion."
"But do you think that you demonized immigrants?""No, not at all. I want them to come into the country. But they have to come in legally."
That's what the migrants are trying to do — they say they intend to seek asylum.
Acosta called out the misleading ad and said: "They're hundreds of miles away, though. They're hundreds and hundreds of miles away. That's not an invasion.""You know what? I think you should,"
Trump started to say, pointing at Acosta. "Honestly, I think you should let me run the country. You run CNN. And if you did it well, your ratings would be much better."
"Okay, that's enough,"
Trump said as Acosta tried to ask another question.
A White House staffer hurried over to grab the mic and carry it to the next reporter Trump chose, NBC's Peter Alexander.
"If I may ask one other question, are you worried--"
Acosta tried to point out that other reporters had also asked multiple questions."That's enough," Trump said.
The White House staffer tried to grab the mic from Acosta, but he held onto it.
"Pardon me, ma'am," he said, as she looked toward Trump, then ducked out of camera view."Peter, let's go,"
Trump said, trying to move on to Alexander.
"If I can ask, on the Russia investigation," Acosta said, "are you concerned that you may have indictments coming down--""I am not concerned about anything with the Russian investigation because it is a hoax," Trump said, "That is enough, put down the mic." Trump backed away from the podium for a moment, signaling he was done, while Acosta asked the question again and then let go of the mic.
While Alexander started to ask his question, Trump said, "I tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of itself, having you working for them." He pointed at Acosta: "You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn't be working for CNN."
Then he turned to Alexander: "Go ahead." But he turned his focus back to Acosta: "You are a very rude person, the way that you treat Sarah Huckabee Sanders is horrible. The way that you treat other people are horrible. You shouldn't treat people that way."
Trump said to Alexander. The NBC journalist then spoke up in Acosta's defense: "I've traveled with him and watched him, he is a diligent reporter who busts his butt like the rest of us.""Well I'm not a big fan of yours either, to be honest,"
Trump said, prompting laughs in the room. He disparages NBC almost as often as CNN.
"So let me ask you a question," Alexander said, not missing a beat.
Acosta stood back up and spoke. His comments were not totally audible on live TV, but Acosta could be heard asking about the dangers of Trump's anti-media attacks, like the use of the term "enemy of the people.""When you report fake news, which CNN does, a lot, you are the enemy of the people,"
Trump said, turning back to Alexander.