In his first public remarks following the midterm elections, President Donald Trump got into repeated scraps with various members of the White House press corps.
It started with CNN’s Jim Acosta, who asked the president how he could call the migrant caravan an “invasion” when “they’re hundreds of miles away. That’s not an invasion.” Trump responded by saying, “Honestly, I think you should let me run the country, you run CNN—and if you did it well, your ratings would be much higher.” He then barked at Acosta, “That’s enough. That’s enough. … Put down the mike.”
As Acosta tried to continue asking about Russia, Trump scolded, “I’ll 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,” and then added, “The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible. And the way you treat other people is horrible.” As Trump tried to move on to another reporter, a press aide tried multiple times to grab the microphone away from Acosta.
Watch video below:
— WMUR TV (@WMUR9) November 7, 2018
Taking the feminist route, White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, supported Trump’s action against the reporter, saying the White House” would 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. 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.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 8, 2018
Others have condemned the action and even called for a boycott of the presidential press events until the free pass of the concerned CNN reporter, Jim Acosta, is restored.
There is only one proper response to this. Every WH reporter should stand in solidarity and boycott WH press briefings until Acosta gets his credential back. And every legitimate news outlet should refuse to book WH spokespeople. Let the Trump press operation wither on the vine. https://t.co/NGb31bvnFq
— Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) November 8, 2018
I don't necessarily agree with @acosta 's approach, but this is beyond anything in the 5 administrations I've covered. No journalist should attend, nor cover, a single presidential event or briefing unless and until Jim's access has been restored. https://t.co/GdH81M6gru
— Dana Milbank (@Milbank) November 8, 2018
Trump treats showdowns with the press as theater of the absurd. Don't let the act fool you. This is about questions he will not answer or answer honestly. That's what the press must do. Hold the powerful accountable. It's as much a part of America as the presidency itself.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) November 8, 2018
Florida’s 43rd governor, Jeb Bush, also condemned Trump’s action saying the President should have respected the freedom of the press to ask questions and respect Americans enough to answer:
The media is not the enemy of the people. The freedom of the press is protected by the Constitution. Presidents never enjoy pointed questions from the press, but President Trump should respect their right to ask them and respect Americans enough to answer them. https://t.co/JY3eAwX8RH
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) November 7, 2018