Trump doubles down on attacks on journalists
NEW YORK — Before hopping on a plane to Paris on Friday, President Trump insulted some more reporters, threatened that others may have their White House credentials pulled like CNN’s Jim Acosta and disputed reports that 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.”
Abba Shapiro, an independent video producer hired by the Associated Press to compare the footage tweeted by Shapiro with the AP’s coverage of the news conference, said the alteration made was “too precise to be an accident.”
While Trump called the reporter who asked about the video “dishonest,” that was mild compared to his treatment of April Ryan, a White House 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.”
In response, CNN said through its Twitter feed that Phillip’s question wasn’t stupid. “In fact, she asked the most pertinent question of the day,” CNN said. Trump’s insults “are nothing new. And never surprising,” CNN said.