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Posted at: Nov 9, 2018, 2:03 AM; last updated: Nov 9, 2018, 2:03 AM (IST)

CNN reporter loses access to WH after spat with Trump

CNN reporter loses access to WH after spat with Trump
A White House staff member reaches for the microphone held by CNN’s Jim Acosta as he questions US President Donald Trump during a news conference at the White House in Washington. Reuters

Washington, November 8

In an unprecedented move, the White House has suspended the credentials of a senior CNN journalist for his “disgusting and outrageous” behaviour, hours after he had a testy exchange with President Donald Trump during a marathon news conference.

The move came just hours after CNN’s chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta drew the ire of Trump by persisting with questions about his views on a caravan of Central American migrants making its way to the US border and refused to the President’s orders to sit down and clung to the microphone. 

The removal of Acosta’s pass is a sharp escalation of tensions between the Trump administration and the media. 

At the news conference, which lasted 1 hour and 26 minutes, Trump snapped at the press corps, called reporters “rude” for asking questions, and made baseless claims about political polling.

Acosta was one of the first reporters Trump called on. “Thank you, Mr President,” he said. “I want to challenge you on one of the statements that you made in the tail end of the campaign.”

“As you know, Mr President, the caravan is not an invasion,” Acosta said. “It’s a group of migrants moving up from Central America towards the border with the US.” Trump, sarcastically, replied, “Thank you for telling me that, I appreciate it.”

Acosta: “Why did you characterise it as such?”  “Because I consider it an invasion. You and I have a difference of opinion.”  “But do you think that you demonised immigrants?” 

“No, not at all. I want them to come into the country. But they have to come in legally,” Trump said. That’s what the migrants are trying to do, they say they intend to seek asylum, he said.

“You know what? I think you should,” Trump started to say, pointing at Acosta. “Honestly, I think you should let me run the country. You run CNN. And if you did it well, your ratings would be much better.”  “Okay, that’s enough,” a visibly angry Trump said as Acosta tried to ask another question. Then a White House intern unsuccessfully tried to take the microphone from the CNN correspondent. — PTI

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