President Donald Trump said he might not return CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s pass to get into the White House and that other journalists may lose their credentials as well, after he argued with Acosta at a post-election news conference on Wednesday.
“I haven’t made that decision, but it could be others also,” Trump said as he departed the White House on Friday for a commemoration of the end of World War I in France. He insulted Acosta, saying “I don’t think he’s a smart person but he’s got a loud voice.”
Unprompted, he brought up April Ryan, Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, who often asks argumentative questions of Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Trump.
“It’s the same thing with April Ryan,” Trump said. “You want to talk about someone who’s a loser.”
Trump’s relationship with the journalists who cover the White House fell to a new low on Wednesday after the confrontation with Acosta, who provoked the president by asking him whether he had “demonized” immigrants in the run-up to Tuesday’s midterm election. After increasingly heated back-and-forth between the men, Trump told Acosta “you should let me run the country, you run CNN,” and cut off his questions.
When a White House intern tried to take a microphone from Acosta, he blocked her with his arm. Sanders later accused Acosta of “placing his hands” on the intern and said his White House credential had been suspended “until further notice.”
Acosta responded by calling Sanders a liar. She subsequently tweeted a manipulated video clip that showed Acosta’s arm touching the intern’s arm as she tried to take the microphone. The video does not show Acosta putting his hands on the woman.
CNN has defended Acosta and assailed the White House for taking his credential. The White House Correspondents’ Association said in a statement that “revoking access to the White House complex is a reaction out of line to the purported offense and is unacceptable.”