White House advisor Kellyanne Conway delivered a furious diatribe to CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta after he questioned if President Donald Trump would tell the truth in his first Oval Office address tonight.
The exchange got particularly heated when Acosta reminded Conway of her use of the term “alternative facts”—a gaffe that went viral in the days following Trump’s inauguration and grew to characterize the administration’s tactics throughout the ensuing term.
Watch the exchange with Acosta below:
CNN’s Jim Acosta: “Kellyanne, can you promise the president will tell the truth tonight?”
Conway: “Yes, Jim. Do you promise that you will? … this is why I am one of the only people around here who even gives you the time of day…because you’re such a smartass most of the time” pic.twitter.com/8fZ1iycl9R
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) January 8, 2019
Conway said to Acosta:
“Let me get back in your face because you’re such a smart ass most of the time and I know you want this to go viral, a lot of these people don’t like you. But just let me be respectful to the media at large as I always am, I explained that was alternative information and additional facts and I explained it many times. And don’t you put it back it my face for all the corrections that your network needs to issue. I was on your network 25 or 26 times in 2018 and I’m one of the last people here that even bothers to go on.”
The rebuke was intense even for Conway, whose tactics for defending the President have often been considered harmful.
Though Conway insisted that Trump would tell the truth, she didn’t answer Acosta’s second question: Would the address pass a fact check?
Yamiche Alcindor of PBS pointed this out:
Kellyanne Conway called Jim Acosta "a smart ass" for asking if Pres Trump will tell the truth tonight. But, she did not answer the question which many people are wondering.
It's important to note that Trump has regularly used misleading information in reference to the wall.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) January 8, 2019
Twitter had a lot to say on the matter.
They're beginning to resent being questioned by reporters.
— R. S. S. (@_R_S_S_) January 8, 2019
Pretty funny – I would take that as a compliment ….from the den of Hugo Chavez del Trump enablers
— Fairness (@AmericanLife777) January 8, 2019
This isn’t the first time Acosta has found himself the target of anger from White House officials.