“I want to challenge you on one of the statements you made in the campaign, in the terms that this caravan was an invasion,” Acosta asked. “As you know, Mr. President, the caravan was not an invasion. It’s a group of migrants moving up from Central America towards the border with the U.S. and why did you characterize it as such.”
“Because I consider it an invasion,” the president answered. “You and I have a difference of opinion.”
“But do you think that you demonized immigrants in this election to try to keep — ,” Acosta said.
“Not at all, not at all,” Trump said. “I want them to come into the country, but they have to come in legally. You know, they have to come in, Jim, through a process.”
Acosta then asked Trump about a campaign ad, implying for some reason that the video evidence of migrants storming border fences was not indicative of how those same individuals would behave when they reach the U.S. border.
The exchange then grew less polite when the president tried to end his discourse with Acosta and a young female aide tried to take the microphone and deliver it to NBC’s Peter Alexander.
“That’s enough. Put down the mic,” Trump ordered Acosta, as a White House aide tried to take the microphone from him, only for Acosta to initially refuse to turn it over and push her arm down, though he had already asked — and gotten answers to — a number of questions.
“I tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them,” Trump finally said. “You are a rude, terrible person, you shouldn’t be working for CNN.”
“You’re a very rude person,” he added. “The way you treat (White House press secretary) Sarah Huckabee is horrible.”
You can watch the entire incident here:
After the incident, CNN’s public relations department defended Acosta in a tweet:
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) November 7, 2018
Donald Trump is the president of the United States, and Acosta should respect the office even if he doesn’t respect the man. If he disagrees with the president’s treatment of the White House press corps, that’s certainly his right. But it does seem hypocritical to blame Trump for his behavior and then turn around and engage in exactly the same sort of behavior.
But being a hypocrite is also Acosta’s right.
Of course, the White House would be within its rights to cancel Acosta’s media credentials and ban his access to the president completely. Acosta and his string-pullers at CNN should bear that in mind.
We hope the president doesn’t do that, however. The exchanges — which Acosta inevitably comes out on the losing end of — are just too fun to watch.
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