During a news conference following the midterm elections, President Donald Trump and CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta had a heated exchange, with Trump calling Acosta a “rude, terrible person” and decrying CNN as “the enemy of the people.”
The two got off to a rocky start when Acosta began his line of questioning.
“Thank you, Mr. President. I want to challenge you on one of the statements you made in the tail end of the campaign, in the midterms,” Acosta began.
“Here we go,” Trump quipped, glancing over at the other reporters in the room.
“Well, if you don’t mind, Mr. President, that this caravan was an invasion. As you know —”
“I consider it to be an invasion,” Trump said.
“As you know, Mr President, the caravan was not an invasion. It’s a group of migrants moving up toward the border with the U.S. Why did you characterize it as such? And —”
Trump stopped him again “Because I consider it an invasion. You and I have a difference of opinion.”
At one point during the exchange, Trump said, “That’s enough,” and a female White House aide tried to take Acosta’s mic. Acosta held onto the microphone, pulled it back, and continued with his question, saying, “Pardon me, ma’am,” to the aide.
He then tried to ask a question about the Russia investigation, but Trump dismissed the question and told Acosta to “put down the mic.”
“I tell you what,” he said, “CNN should be ashamed of themselves having you working for them. You are rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN. Go ahead. You are a very rude person, the way that you treat Sarah Huckabee Sanders is horrible. And the way that you treat other people is horrible. You should not treat people that way.”
After Acosta, NBC News White House Correspondent Peter Alexander tried to begin his question with a defense of Acosta, but Trump interrupted him. “I’m not a big fan of yours either, to be honest,” Trump said. “You are not the best.”
The president then returned to attacking Acosta, saying, “Just sit down, please. Well, when you report fake news — no. When you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people.”
FULL EXCHANGE: Trump vs. @Acosta
"Put down the mic…"
"You are a rude, terrible person…" pic.twitter.com/hdnNGd2xLc
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) November 7, 2018
CNN’s PR department tweeted out their support for Acosta, and condemned Trump’s “ongoing attacks on the press” as both “dangerous” and “disturbingly un-American.”
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) November 7, 2018