CNN’s Jim Acosta has become a trouble-maker during press briefings. On Monday, as President Trump wrapped up an announcement at the White House, Acosta once again made a nuisance of himself with a baited question, but the president quickly shot him down with allegations of “fake news.”
Members of the White House press corps were asked to join top administration officials to gather in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House. President Trump was there to announce an investigation into China’s intellectual property laws.
At the end of the press conference, the senior White House correspondent asked the president why he waited two days to specifically condemn white nationalist groups who were part of the violent riots in Charlottesville, VA, on Saturday.
“They’ve been condemned,” Trump responded. “They have been condemned.”
Acosta, not one to let an opportunity to become the focus of attention pass, wanted to know why Trump didn’t hold a press conference so that he could be questioned about the Charlottesville events by reporters.
“It doesn’t bother me at all, but I like real news, not fake news,” Trump said to Acosta. “You’re fake news.”
In June, former Pres Secretary Sean Spicer subtly accused Acosta of grandstanding when he questioned why the reporter was shouting for attention while the video cameras were turned off. Acosta suggested they be turned on, but Spicer’s point was made.
Spicer’s veiled criticism came after Acosta had loudly challenged him at a press conference in late May, telling the senior administration official to give him an example of a fake news report. Spicer immediately referenced two instances.
Acosta has also verbally sparred with other administration officials. When White House senior policy advisor Stephen Miller held a press briefing on the topic of the RAISE Act, a merit-based immigration reform program, Acosta managed to take the stage again.
Miller and Acosta disagreed about a number of topics for minutes, including whether speaking English changes what it means to be an immigrant coming to the country. After Acosta said that insisting immigrants speak English meant only people from Great Britain and Australia could come to America, Miller was offended.
He called Acosta’s statement insulting, and said, “It reveals your cosmopolitan bias to a shocking degree. That you think only people from Great Britain and Australia would speak English is so insulting to millions of hard-working immigrants who do speak English from all over the world.”
After Acosta’s many attention grabs, Fox News host Tucker Carlson called Acosta that “drunk guy at the party with bad breath who won’t stop talking.”
Even Acosta’s own colleagues turned on him. According to reports, they’re resigned to the fact his actions aren’t motivated by a burning desire to uncover journalistic truths. A source within CNN said Acosta’s interview style is well past the point of being an attempt to hold Trump officials accountable. Instead, it is a conscious career decision.
“He’s angling to host an opinion show,” he said. “These [White House] briefings are his auditions.”
You can see the exchange from Monday’s briefing between Trump and Acosta in the video below.
Trump tells CNN’s Jim Acosta: “I like real news, you are fake news” over questions about Charlottesville reaction pic.twitter.com/0feoElc6lg
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) August 14, 2017
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