Trump insults reporters, claims Acosta video wasn’t altered
NEW YORK — Before hopping on a plane to Paris on Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump insulted some more reporters, threatened that others may have their White House credentials pulled like CNN’s Jim Acosta and disputed reports his press secretary spread a doctored video of Acosta’s encounter with a White House intern.
During a brief media availability outside the White House, the president gave more fodder to fans who enjoy watching him scrap with journalists.
Trump said “nobody manipulated” a video distributed by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders that showed Acosta resisting an intern’s attempt to take a microphone from him during a news conference on Friday. A video expert had told The Associated Press that the video appeared doctored to speed up Acosta’s arm movement and make his gesture more threatening; the White House used that encounter to justify pulling Acosta’s credentials.
“It wasn’t doctored,” the president said. “They gave a close-up view. That’s not doctoring.”
While Trump called the reporter who asked about the video “dishonest,” that was mild compared to his treatment of April Ryan, a correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, and CNN’s Abby Phillip.
Phillip asked Trump whether he wanted Matt Whitaker, the newly appointed acting attorney general, to rein in special counsel Robert Mueller. “What a stupid question you asked,” Trump replied. “What a stupid question and I watch you a lot and you ask a lot of stupid questions.”
The attack on Ryan was unprovoked, although the president had appeared upset at Wednesday’s news conference when Ryan stood up and asked him, without a microphone, about voter suppression in the midterm elections. Ryan wasn’t among Trump’s questioners Friday.
“I watch her get up,” he said Friday. “I mean, you talk about somebody that’s a loser, she doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing. She gets publicity, and then she gets a pay raise, or she gets a contract with, I think CNN. But she’s very nasty, and she shouldn’t be.”
Between Ryan, Phillip and Yamiche Alcindor of PBS’s “NewsHour,” that makes three black female reporters that the president dealt with harshly in three days. On Wednesday, Trump accused Alcindor of asking a racist question.