White House in new threat to press corps
DONALD TRUMP has threatened to strip more reporters of their White House press passes and said Ronald Reagan would have handled CNN’S Jim Acosta in the same way.
The US president also denied that a video showing the heated exchange with Mr Acosta, which was circulated by the White House, had been doctored.
The comments, made to reporters before Mr Trump flew to Paris for First World War commemorations, further escalate this week’s clash.
On Wednesday, Mr Trump lashed out at Mr Acosta after being repeatedly challenged and interrupted on immigration, calling him a “very rude person”. Later that day, his White House credentials were revoked.
Yesterday, Mr Trump said: “I think Jim Acosta is a very unprofessional man ... whether it was me or Ronald Reagan or anybody else he would have done the same thing.”
Asked if the removal of Mr Acosta’s press credentials was permanent, the president said: “As far as I’m concerned I haven’t made that decision, but it could be others also.”
On Thursday, Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, circulated a video of the exchange which zoomed in and looped a point where Mr Acosta’s arm comes into contact with that of a White House intern who reached to take away his microphone.
A video verification expert told The Daily Telegraph that the footage had been manipulated.
“No one manipulated, gimme a break,” Mr Trump told reporters.
Separately, Mr Trump also signed an executive order denying migrants who enter the country illegally the right to apply for asylum. The current law states that anyone is eligible to apply no matter how they enter the United States.