Clips from a combative debate between CNN's Jim Acosta and Donald Trump administration official Stephen Miller dominated the evening news shows Wednesday, but his colleagues didn't seem to appreciate it.
A report from the Washington Examiner revealed that some CNN insiders thought Acosta was merely grandstanding for the cameras. The exchange occurred during the daily press briefing after Miller announced new proposed immigration guidelines.
"Jim is a stunt dummy," a CNN producer told the Examiner.
"He's angling to host an opinion show," an on-air political commentator for CNN said. "These [White House] briefings are his auditions."
The anonymous source said the pattern of combative interactions from Acosta with the Trump administration gave some CNN staffers the idea that Acosta had a self-serving ulterior motive.
"Ugh, just ugh," a producer said about the reporter.
The debate got especially heated when Acosta accused the administration of pushing immigration policies intended to “engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country.”
“Jim, that is one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant, and foolish things you’ve ever said," Miller responded, while other journalists grumbled in protest.
The Examiner also cited a contrasting opinion from another CNN producer, who said that Acosta was a "good guy" and an "honest reporter."
While some of Acosta's colleagues are rhetorically knifing him in the ribs behind the scenes, it was reported that Miller's White House colleagues were giving the Trump adviser "high fives" after the shouting match caught by news cameras.
The applause was mirrored by many Trump supporters on social media, but not by Fox News' Eric Bolling, who said Miller should never be allowed as a public spokesman for Trump again.