The White House suspended the media credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta on Wednesday night, citing his “absolutely unacceptable” conduct for tussling with a White House intern at a presidential press conference earlier in the day.
Mr. Acosta learned of the move when a Secret Service officer confiscated his White House credentials, known as a “hard pass,” as he tried to re-enter a security gate at the White House.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president believes in a free press and welcomes tough questions, but will “never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern.”
“This conduct is absolutely unacceptable,” she said.
During a contentious press conference in the East Room earlier Wednesday, Mr. Acosta was questioning the president’s characterization of a migrant caravan from Central America as an “invasion.” The reporter, often a target of Mr. Trump’s barbs of “fake news,” offered his own opinion that it wasn’t an invasion.
Mr. Trump retorted, “I think you should — honestly, I think you should let me run the country, you run CNN .. and if you did it well, your ratings would be much better.”
When Mr. Acosta tried to ask another question, Mr. Trump cut him off, saying “That’s enough.”