President Donald Trump made it very clear he hates bad press. Even when facts back the reports about him, he refers to all negative press as “fake news.”
Because a free and honest press should report the truth, even if the President in office lies, Trump refers to most of the press as “the enemy of the people.” During a Wednesday press conference, the President took his attacks a step further.
CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta tried to ask Trump a question he did not want to answer, so the President told him to give up the microphone and sit down. Acosta finally relinquished the mic to a White House aide—that tried to grab it from him earlier—after Trump moved to walk out of the press conference.
Trump then berated Acosta.
The President stated:
“I’ll tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN.”
Trump then claimed Acosta treated Sarah Huckabee Sanders poorly when he questioned her about the President’s use of the phrase “enemy of the people” to describe any press that fails to flatter him or when he disputed a Trump lie that Sanders repeated during her White House briefings.
When the next reporter attempted to defend Acosta, Trump told NBC’s Peter Alexander he was not fond of him either.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) November 7, 2018
Acosta stood to remind Trump of pipe bombs sent to CNN and his use of the phrase “enemy of the people” to describe press outlets that criticize him or tell truths he dislikes. Trump reiterated his claim CNN was fake news and deserved whatever happened to them.
I just want to state this as clearly as possible:
Jim Acosta was asking about the PIPE BOMBS sent to the CNN office
Trump replied, “When you report fake news, you are the enemy of the people.”
Trump is saying he thinks CNN DESERVED TO BE BOMBED.pic.twitter.com/JnlwgKmcFr
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) November 7, 2018
Watch the exchange here.
‘You are a rude, terrible person’: @realDonaldTrump ripped into CNN’s Jim @Acosta during a press conference as a White House aide grabbed and attempted to remove a microphone from the White House correspondent’s hand. pic.twitter.com/gDrlz9zMf0
— SBS News (@SBSNews) November 7, 2018
BREAKING: White House aide grabs and tries to physically remove a microphone from CNN Correspondent Jim Acosta during a contentious exchange with President Trump at a news conference. pic.twitter.com/Ml1OvlXpa9
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 7, 2018
Trump went on to claim CNN’s polls were a form of voter suppression.
CNN responded to the President’s attacks with an official statement of support for Acosta and the First Amendment. The network wrote:
“This President’s ongoing attacks on the press have gone too far. They are not only dangerous, they are disturbingly un-American.”
CNN then raised the issue of the President’s oath of office to defend the Constitution, including the First Amendment.
“While President Trump has made it clear he does not respect a free press, he has a sworn obligation to protect it.”
“A free press is vital to democracy, and we stand behind Jim Acosta and his fellow journalists everywhere.”
They posted their response on Twitter as well.
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) November 7, 2018
Others also came out in support of Acosta and a free press.