The White House revoked the press badge of CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta Wednesday following a tense exchange with President Donald Trump where the president called him a “rude, terrible person.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced the unexpected move Wednesday evening, explaining the decision was a result of both Acosta’s behavior and him yanking back when a White House intern tried to take his microphone.
“President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration,” Sanders said. “We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern.”
Acosta is almost certainly the most high-profile reporter to be barred from doing his job in the Trump-era.
President Trump to Jim @Acosta: “You should let me run the country. You run CNN.”
“That’s enough. Put down the mic. CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude terrible person.” pic.twitter.com/GR9TIbKUok
— CSPAN (@cspan) November 7, 2018
Sanders said the “conduct is absolutely unacceptable” and Acosta’s refusal to pass the microphone was “completely disrespectful to the reporter’s colleagues” as it was not allowing them an opportunity to ask questions.
“As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice,” Sanders said.