In­sults fly in Trump war against me­dia

The Sunday Times - - WORLD -

US Pres­i­dent Donald Trump has launched in­sults at more re­porters and threat­ened to cut White House ties with oth­ers, be­fore jump­ing on a plane to Paris to meet world lead­ers.

The lat­est at­tacks on tra­di­tional me­dia came as he dis­puted re­ports his press sec­re­tary spread a doc­tored video of CNN re­porter Jim Acosta’s en­counter with a White House in­tern.

Dur­ing a brief en­counter out­side the White House, Mr 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 has said the footage ap­peared doc­tored to speed up Acosta’s arm move­ment and make his ges­ture more threat­en­ing.

Mr Trump called the re­porter who asked about the video “dis­hon­est” and went on to ad­mon­ish April Ryan, a White House cor­re­spon­dent for Amer­i­can Ur­ban Ra­dio Net­works, and CNN’s Abby Phillip. Phillip asked Mr Trump if he wanted Matt Whi­taker, the newly ap­pointed act­ing at­tor­ney-gen­eral, to rein in spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller.

“What a stupid ques­tion you asked,” Mr Trump said. “What a stupid ques­tion and I watch you a lot and you ask a lot of stupid ques­tions.” CNN later de­scribed Phillip’s ques­tion as the most per­ti­nent of the day.

Ryan up­set the Pres­i­dent at Wed­nes­day’s news con­fer­ence when she asked about voter sup­pres­sion in the midterm elec­tions.

“I watch her get up,” he said yes­ter­day. “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.”

Mr Trump has not said how long Acosta’s ban will last, but warned there could be oth­ers.

“You have to treat the pres­i­dency with re­spect,” he said.

Pic­ture: AP

Stupid: Abby Phillip’s clash with Donald Trump.

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