Trump in­sults re­porters, claims Jim Acosta video wasn’t al­tered

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - NEWS - By David Bauder and Jonathan Lemire

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.”

Two late-night comics, Stephen Col­bert and Jimmy Kim­mel, both said on their shows Thurs­day that San­ders should be fired for her ac­tion.

“The fact that the White House press sec­re­tary is pro­mot­ing this doc­tored video is rep­re­hen­si­ble, and grounds for dis­missal,” Col­bert said.

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.

The at­tack on Ryan was un­pro­voked, al­though the pres­i­dent had ap­peared up­set at Wed­nes­day’s news con­fer­ence when Ryan stood up and asked him, with­out a mi­cro­phone, about voter sup­pres­sion in the midterm elec­tions. Ryan wasn’t among Trump’s ques­tion­ers Fri­day.

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

Ryan be­came a CNN con­trib­u­tor last year. She said on the net­work that the three pres­i­dents she cov­ered prior to Trump may not have liked ev­ery ques­tion she asked, but un­der­stood why she did so.

“At the end of the day it was part of the Amer­i­can process, it was part of what our Found­ing Fathers put in place for the ac­count­abil­ity of the pres­i­dent of the United States,” she said. “This pres­i­dent seems not to like it, so there­fore I’m a loser.”

Be­tween Ryan, Phillip and Yamiche Al­cin­dor of PBS’ “NewsHour,” that makes three black, fe­male re­porters that the pres­i­dent dealt with harshly in the past three days. Trump on Wed­nes­day ac­cused Al­cin­dor of ask­ing a racist ques­tion when she in­quired about the pres­i­dent re­ceiv­ing sup­port from some white na­tion­al­ists.

Trump said he hadn’t made a de­ci­sion when asked by a re­porter how long Acosta would re­main in the “penalty box.” But he said there could be oth­ers.

“When you’re in the White House, this is a very sa­cred place to be,” he said. “This is a very spe­cial place. You have to treat the White House with re­spect. You have to treat the pres­i­dency with re­spect.”

EVAN VUCCI - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

CNN jour­nal­ist Abby Phillip asks Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump a ques­tion as he speaks with re­porters be­fore de­part­ing for France on the South Lawn of the White House, Fri­day in Wash­ing­ton.

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