Trump threat­ens to re­voke some other press passes

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - FRONT PAGE - David Jack­son

PARIS – De­fend­ing his de­ci­sion to re­voke a CNN re­porter’s White House press pass, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said Fri­day he may take the same ac­tion against other re­porters who have ques­tioned his ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“It could be oth­ers also,” Trump told re­porters at the White House.

Trump said he pulled the pass of CNN’s Jim Acosta be­cause “he’s a very un­pro­fes­sional guy,” and he sin­gled out April Ryan of Amer­i­can Ur­ban Ra­dio Net­works as an­other po­ten­tial tar­get.

“She’s very nasty, and she shouldn’t be,” Trump said.

Ryan, one of the rel­a­tively few African-Amer­i­can women on the beat, has fre­quently crit­i­cized Trump’s at­tempted crack­downs on the press.

Re­spond­ing to Trump on Twit­ter, Ryan said: “I love this coun­try and have the most re­spect for the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent. I will con­tinue to ask the ques­tions that af­fect Amer­ica, all of Amer­ica.”

Trump com­mented as he left the White House on a trip to Paris for events mark­ing the 100th an­niver­sary of the end of World War I.

Acosta – who is in Paris cov­er­ing Trump’s trip – tweeted: “My friend @AprilDRyan is an in­cred­i­ble jour­nal­ist and a won­der­ful per­son. If you got to know April as I know her, you would love her too.”

The sus­pen­sion of Acosta’s press pass came af­ter he and Trump had a tense ex­change dur­ing a news con­fer­ence Wed­nes­day.

News or­ga­ni­za­tions con­demned the move, call­ing it a threat to free­dom of the press. “Such in­ter­ac­tions, how­ever un­com­fort­able they may ap­pear to be, help de­fine the strength of our na­tional in­sti­tu­tions,” a state­ment from the White House Cor­re­spon­dents As­so­ci­a­tion said. “We urge the White House to im­me­di­ately re­verse this weak and mis­guided ac­tion.”

Asked if the Acosta de­ci­sion is per­ma­nent, Trump said: “As far as I’m con­cerned, I haven’t made that de­ci­sion.”

White House press sec­re­tary Sarah San­ders said the de­ci­sion was made be­cause of the re­porter “plac­ing his hands” on a White House em­ployee who was re­triev­ing the mi­cro­phone from him as he and Trump ar­gued dur­ing the news con­fer­ence.

There’s no ev­i­dence that hap­pened, and the White House ap­pears to have based its claim on a heav­ily edited video.

In the video posted by San­ders, Acosta’s arm move­ment is sped up, mak­ing his ap­par­ent block ap­pear more ag­gres­sive. The video was ear­lier shared by the ed­i­tor of In­foWars, whose founder has pushed con­spir­acy the­o­ries that the 2012 Sandy Hook shoot­ing never oc­curred.

Trump de­nied pro­mot­ing a doc­tored video. “Give me a break,” he said.

“We urge the White House

to im­me­di­ately re­verse this

weak and mis­guided ac­tion.”

White House Cor­re­spon­dents As­so­ci­a­tion

MAN­DEL NGAN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump ar­gues with CNN’s Jim Acosta on Wed­nes­day.

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