CNN journalist Jim Acosta has been banned from entering the White House following a volatile press conference in which President Trump referred to him as “a rude, terrible person.”
The incident follows Acosta attempting to ask Trump’s characterisation of a migrant caravan of some 4,000 immigrants walking through Mexico to claim asylum in the US. After Acosta challenged Trump’s use of the word “invasion” an aide attempted to remove his microphone.
Later Acosta tweeted that he was prevented from re-entering the White House by Secret Service.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed they suspended Acosta’s pass “until further notice.”
In a statement, she said “President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern. This conduct is absolutely unacceptable.
“It is also completely disrespectful to the reporter’s colleagues not to allow them an opportunity to ask a question. President Trump has given the press more access than any President in history. Contrary to CNN’s assertions, there is no greater demonstration of the President’s support for a free press than the event he held today.”
In a statement, CNN said that Acosta’s credentials were pulled “in retaliation for his challenging questions at today’s press conference.” They said that Sanders accusations against Acosta were “fraudulent,” and an “incident that never happened.”
“This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better. Jim Acosta has our full support,” CNN said.
The White House Correspondents’ Association has called the White House’s reaction “out of line to the purported offense” and urged that Acosta’s press pass be restored.