White House sus­pends re­porter af­ter Trump run-in

Western Morning News - - Uk And World News - BY DAVID BAUDER

The White House has been ac­cused of uploading a doc­tored video show­ing a CNN cor­re­spon­dent chop­ping down on the arm of an aide in a heated con­fronta­tion dur­ing a news con­fer­ence.

The White House said they have sus­pended the press pass of CNN cor­re­spon­dent Jim Acosta af­ter he and Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump had a con­fronta­tion af­ter the re­porter asked about the car­a­van of mi­grants head­ing from Latin Amer­ica to the south­ern US bor­der.

When Mr Acosta tried to fol­low up with an­other ques­tion, Mr Trump said, “That’s enough!” and a fe­male White House aide un­suc­cess­fully tried to grab the mi­cro­phone from Acosta.

White House press sec­re­tary Sarah San­ders re­leased a state­ment ac­cus­ing Mr Acosta of “plac­ing his hands on a young woman just try­ing to do her job as a White House in­tern,” call­ing it “ab­so­lutely un­ac­cept­able”.

The in­ter­ac­tion be­tween Mr Acosta and the in­tern was brief, and Mr Acosta ap­peared to brush her arm as she reached for the mi­cro­phone and he tried to hold on to it. “Par­don me, ma’am,” he told her.

Mr Acosta tweeted that Ms San­ders’s state­ment that he put his hands on the aide was “a lie”.

Oth­ers were quick to come to Mr Acosta’s de­fence, and claimed a video up­loaded by the White House had been speeded up de­lib­er­ately in sev- eral frames to ac­cen­tu­ate the sever­ity of the con­tact.

CNN said in a state­ment that the White House re­voked Mr Acosta’s press pass out of “re­tal­i­a­tion for his chal­leng­ing ques­tions”, and the net­work ac­cused Ms San­ders of ly­ing about Mr Acosta’s ac­tions.

“(San­ders) pro­vided fraud­u­lent ac­cu­sa­tions and cited an in­ci­dent that never hap­pened. This un­prece­dented de­ci­sion is a threat to our democ­racy and the coun­try de­serves bet­ter,” CNN said. “Jim Acosta has our full sup­port.”

Jour­nal­ists as­signed to cover the White House ap­ply for passes that al­low them daily ac­cess to press ar­eas in the West Wing.

White House staff de­cide whether jour­nal­ists are el­i­gi­ble, though the Se­cret Ser­vice de­ter­mines whether their ap­pli­ca­tions are ap­proved.

The post-midterm elec­tion news con­fer­ence marked a new low in the pres­i­dent’s re­la­tion­ship with jour­nal­ists.

“It’s such a hos­tile me­dia,” Mr Trump said af­ter order­ing re­porter April Ryan of the Amer­i­can Ur­ban Ra­dio Net­works to sit down when she tried to ask him a ques­tion.

The pres­i­dent com­plained the me­dia did not cover the hum­ming econ­omy and was re­spon­si­ble for much of the coun­try’s di­vided pol­i­tics.

He said, “I can do some­thing fan­tas­tic, and they make it look not good.”

His ex­changes with CNN’s Mr Acosta and NBC News’ Peter Alexan­der turned bit­terly per­sonal.

Peo­ple walk away from the Cal­i­for­nia bar where a gun­man opened fire Wed­nesda

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