President warns he might pull more press credentials
NEWYORK— Before hopping on a plane to Paris on Friday, President Donald Trump disputed reports that his press secretary spread a doctored video of Jim Acosta’s encounter with a White House intern and threatened that others may have their White House credentials pulled, as was done with the CNN correspondent.
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 Wednesday.
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.
“It wasn’t doctored,” the president said during a brief media availability outside the White House. “They gave a close-up view. That’s not doctoring.”
While Trump called the reporter who asked about the video “dishonest,” that was mild compared with his treatment of 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 alotandyouaskalotofstupid questions.” In response, CNN said through its Twitter feed that Phillip’s question wasn’t stupid.
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.”
Despite losing his White House pass and the ability to travel with Trump and the rest of the press corps on Air Force One, Acosta went to Paris to cover Trump’s meeting with world leaders this weekend.
He tweeted a photo of himself standing in front of the Eiffel Tower early Friday.