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Image / Editorial

This is why everyone’s talking about Donald Trump and Jim Acosta today


By Grace McGettigan
08th Nov 2018
This is why everyone’s talking about Donald Trump and Jim Acosta today

President Donald Trump has created a new wave of controversy following a heated press conference in the White House last night.

An argument over immigration policy with CNN journalist Jim Acosta escalated quickly, with a White House staffer attempting to take the microphone from him, and the press secretary later claiming the journalist had “placed his hands on an intern”.

In the end, the White House revoked Jim Acosta’s press pass, essentially banning him from covering any press conferences going forward.

What exactly happened?

The argument began almost as soon as Jim Acosta stood up. “I want to challenge you on one of the statements you made…” he started, to which Trump replied, “Here we go…”

Acosta continued to question the president about his comments on immigration; namely the so-called “invasion” of caravans across the Mexican border. “It’s not an invasion, they’re hundreds of miles away,” Acosta pointed out.

Trump cut him off again, saying, “Honestly, I think you should let me run the country, and you run CNN – and if you did it well, your ratings would be much better. Okay, that’s enough.”

Acosta wasn’t ready to end the discussion, requesting, “Mr President, if I may ask one more question?” At this point, a White House staff member attempted to take the microphone from Acosta’s hand. He held onto it tightly and said, “Pardon me, ma’am.”

All the while, Trump said, “That’s enough. CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person.”

The White House then suspended Acosta’s press pass.

The press secretary’s claim

After the heated press conference (and following the suspension of Acosta’s press pass), the White House press secretary Sarah Saunders took to Twitter to say, “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…”

Jim Acosta responded to her tweet with the words, “This is a lie.” What’s more, CNN replied with the following statement:

The public response

There has been a mixed response from the public since the footage of the conference (above) was aired. Many people feel Trump’s treatment of Acosta highlights his lack of respect for the press. They are calling on other journalists to boycott future White House conferences until Acosta’s press pass is reinstated.

Others say Acosta was wrong to hold onto the microphone, insisting he was rude to the intern and wanted “five minutes of fame”.