Watch: CNN's Acosta Battles with Sarah Sanders After Getting White House Pass Back


CNN’s Jim Acosta and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders got into a back-and-forth on Tuesday during the first media briefing since the correspondent’s White House press credential was restored.

Fox News reported that Acosta kept quiet during much of the briefing that began with National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow addressing this week’s upcoming G20 Summit in Argentina and national security adviser John Bolton speaking to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and recent tensions with Russia.

Sanders eventually called on Acosta, who questioned whether President Donald Trump would recommend that former campaign manager Paul Manafort fully cooperate with authorities going forward, given special counsel Robert Mueller’s decision to revoke Manafort’s plea agreement.

In a brief filed in federal court on Monday, Mueller’s team claimed Manafort lied repeatedly to investigators, thereby violating the terms of his plea agreement.

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Sanders said she could not speak to what Manafort should do, but that the president and the White House have been fully cooperative with the special counsel’s investigation.

“We also know that there was no collusion and we’re ready for this to wrap up,” she said.

Following the new rules of decorum that the White House outlined in a letter to Acosta last week, the reporter asked permission for a follow-up, to which Sanders did not object.

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“The president doesn’t believe the warnings in the climate report,” Acosta said. “The president doesn’t believe the CIA when it comes to Jamal Khashoggi. The president doesn’t believe his intelligence community …”

Sanders interjected, “That’s not accurate.”

Acosta continued, “… when it comes to Russian meddling. Why doesn’t he have faith in his advisers?”

“The president has faith in the intelligence community and certainly in the team that he has assembled around him,” Sanders replied.

Acosta continued to engage, contending that Trump does not believe the CIA’s assessment that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman played a role in Khashoggi’s death.

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“We haven’t seen definitive evidence come from our intelligence community that ties him directly to that,” Sanders replied.

Fox News pointed out that with his series of questions, Acosta appeared “to technically violate the rules that were put in place as a result of his actions,” but Sanders didn’t call him out and answered his second and third questions.

Earlier this month, Trump and Acosta got into a heated exchange when the correspondent sought to “challenge” the president on his characterization of the Central American migrant caravan as an “invasion.”

The White House revoked Acosta’s pass after the correspondent continued to ask questions when the president tried to move on to other reporters, and then refused to surrender an in-house microphone to a White House intern.

Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at The Federalist, suggested that in light of the clashes at the border between migrants and U.S. border patrol officers, Trump appeared to have had a better handle on the situation than Acosta, who all but called the president a liar regarding the caravan.

“Very much worth watching Jim Acosta’s performance here and how it looks in retrospect somehow even worse than it looked at the time,” Hemmingway tweeted.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith