Insults fly in Trump war against media
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.
Stupid: Abby Phillip’s clash with Donald Trump.