White House in new threat to press corps

The Daily Telegraph - - World news - By Ben Ri­ley-smith and Nick Allen

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.

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