President Donald Trump refused to take a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta during a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday, labeling his network “fake news.”
Trump had just completed answering a question and turned to Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts for the next, when Acosta shouted out, “Since you attacked CNN can I ask you a question?”
“Can I ask you a question?” Acosta repeated.
“No, no,” Trump said. “John Roberts got it. CNN’s fake news, I don’t take questions from CNN. CNN is fake news, I don’t take questions from CNN.”
“John Roberts of Fox,” Trump reiterated. “Let’s go to a real network.”
“Well, we’re a real network too, Mr. President,” Acosta said.
Earlier during the news conference, Trump called on NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker, who asked him whether he was giving Russia President Vladimir Putin the “upper hand” by criticizing alliances like NATO.
During the annual NATO meeting in Brussels, Trump had pushed member nations on the need to increase military spending to the required two percent of GDP. He had also heavily criticized Germany for the natural gas pipeline deal it entered into with Russia.
Before Welker’s question, the president had noted that numerous media outlets correctly reported that the NATO meeting had ended on a high note with unity among the allies on various issues including increased military spending and the threat posed by Russia.
“See, that’s such dishonest reporting,” Trump in response to Welker’s query. “Of course it happens to be NBC — which is possibly worse than CNN.”
The president proceeded to answer the NBC reporter saying “When you look at what we’ve done in terms of Russia, I guarantee whoever it is in Russia, they’re saying, ‘Oh, gee, do we wish that Trump was not the victor in that election.’”
“We have been far tougher on Russia than anybody,” he added.
At the end of the news conference, Acosta yelled to Trump as he was leaving, “Mr. President, will you tell Putin to stay out of U.S. elections?”
At the end of the news conference I asked Trump if he will tell Putin to stay out of US elections and he said “yes.”
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) July 13, 2018
Trump turned toward him and replied, “Yes.”
“Thank you,” said Acosta.
Trump is scheduled to meet with Putin in Helsinki, Finland on Monday.
Days before taking office in January 2017, Trump labeled Acosta as part of “fake news” CNN, following the network’s reporting in conjunction with BuzzFeed on the unverified Russia dossier.
Trump downgraded CNN to “very fake news” the following month.
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