News

Trump slams reporters at post-election
news conference at White House

2018-11-08

 

Trump speaks to Jim Acosta at the news conference in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday.

PTI

Washington, Nov 8 : US President Donald Trump's post-election news conference at the White House saw him getting involved in angry exchanges with reporters a number of times as he termed one "rude and terrible" person and accused another of asking "racist" questions.

During his around one-and-a-half-hour press conference on Wednesday, he walked away from the microphone a few times refusing to take questions from reporters, who, he said, were speaking out of turn.

"Very hostile. It is such a hostile media. It's so sad," Trump said.

To a CNN reporter's question on a migrant caravan from Central America moving towards the United States, many members of whom were termed "criminals" by Trump, the visibly upset president said, "I think you should let me run the country, you run CNN."

When the CNN reporter refused to hand over the microphone to a White House staffer, as Trump had called another journalist to ask question, the president said, "That's enough. Put down the mic."

When the reporter asked whether Trump was worried about indictments coming down in this investigation, he said, "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."

CNN's Jim Acosta struggles with White House aide to keep microphone during testy Trump exchange.

"I think, that's unfair," the CNN journalist said.

But Trump continued, "You're a very rude person. The way you treat (White House Press Secretary) Sarah Huckabee Sanders is horrible and the way you treat other people are horrible. You shouldn't treat people that way."

When an NBC News reporter came to his fellow journalist's defense, the president said, "When you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people."

Trump also accused a black reporter of asking a "racist question" after she sought to know him what he thought of some people's opinions that the Republican party supports white nationalists.

"I don't believe it...That's such a racist question. Honestly, I know you have it written down, that's a racist question...I don't use racist remarks," he said.

Trump got upset when another reporter started asking questions without being called for. He accused another female journalist of rudely interrupting another reporter who was given a chance to ask questions.

Later, the CNN, in a statement, said Trump's attack on the press has gone too far.

"The President's ongoing attacks on the press has gone too far. They are not only dangerous, they are disturbingly un-American. While President Trump has made it clear he does not respect a free press, he has a sworn obligation to protect it," the CNN said.

"A free press is vital to democracy, and we stand behind Jim Acosta and his fellow journalists everywhere," he channel said.

White House suspends press credentials of CNN reporter

Washington, Nov 8 : In an unprecedented move, the White House has suspended the press credentials of a CNN journalist terming his behaviour as "disgusting and outrageous", hours after he engaged in a heated argument with President Donald Trump during a press conference.

Defending it chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, the CNN said the decision is "a threat to democracy".

The White House's move followed a heated exchange between Trump and Acosta who refused the President's orders to sit down and clung to the microphone and persisted with questions about his views on a caravan of Central American migrants making its way to the US border.

A visibly angry Trump said "that's enough!" and a White House intern unsuccessfully tried to take the microphone from the CNN journalist.

Describing Acosta's behaviour as "disgusting and outrageous", the White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, in a statement on Wednesday said, "As a result of today's incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice."

Sanders said 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. This conduct is absolutely unacceptable,” she said.

"It is also completely disrespectful to the reporter's colleagues not to allow them an opportunity to ask a question," she said.

Sanders said Trump has given the press more access than any President in history.

"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 being supportive of a free press in the midst of him taking 68 questions from 35 different reporters over the course of an hour and a half – including several from the reporter in question," she said.

Meanwhile, the CNN said the revocation of Acosta's pass "was done in retaliation for his challenging questions at today's press conference...This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better".

Acosta was stopped by the Secret Service from entering the White House at about 7 pm.

Former president of the White House Correspondents Association, Jeff Mason, refuted the White House accusation that Acosta placed his hand on a female White House intern.

"I was seated next to Acosta at today's press conference and did not witness him placing his hands on the young intern, as the White House alleges," he tweeted.

Mason, a Reuters correspondent, also came forward in defence of his CNN colleague. He said Acosta held on to the microphone as the intern reached for it and later posted a few pictures from the press conference to prove his point.

Peter Baker from The New York Times, who has been covering the White House for 22 years, said, "This is something I have never seen since I started covering the White House in 1996. Other presidents did not fear tough questioning."

The White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) also said such a decision is "unacceptable" and urged the White House that it "immediately reverse its decision".

"Journalists may use a range of approaches to carry out their jobs and the WHCA does not police the tone or frequency of the questions its members ask of powerful senior government officials, including the President," WHCA president Olivier Knox said.

The White House, meanwhile, said it stands by its decision.

"We stand by our decision to revoke this individual's hard pass. We will not tolerate the inappropriate behaviour clearly documented in this video," Sanders said, posting a video of the CNN reporter allegedly placing his hand on a young woman.

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