Trump Spokesman Threatened to Expel CNN’s Jim Acosta
CNN’s Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta said Donald Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer threatened to expel him from Trump Tower if he attempted to ask another question after a contentious exchange with the president-elect during Wednesday’s news conference.
“After I asked and … demanded that we have a question, Sean Spicer, the incoming press secretary, did say to me that if I were to do that again I was going to be thrown out of this press conference,” Acosta told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper, speaking on “Inside Politics.”
Spicer’s threat came after Acosta pressed Trump to take a follow-up question after the president-elect assailed CNN for publishing a report Tuesday night on classified documents presented to President Obama and Trump which included allegations that Russian operatives claimed to possess compromising personal and financial information about Trump.
“Mr. President -elect since you are attacking our news organization can you give us a chance,” asked Acosta.
“Not you,” interjected Trump.”[Y]our organization is terrible … I am not going to give you a question … You are fake news.”
“Mr. President-elect that is not appropriate,” Acosta chided towards the end of the exchange.
Speaking later with Tapper and Blitzer, Acosta said he felt obligated to push Trump to answer a follow up question given the attack on CNN.
“I felt it was only fair that if our news organization is going to be attacked that we get a chance to ask a follow up question about what Donald Trump was talking about,” he said.
Trump did later take a question from CNN’s Jeremy Diamond.
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) January 11, 2017
Spicer flat out denied that he ever threatened to remove Acosta, again accusing CNN of “false reporting.”
Not true, but par for the course in terms of the false reporting https://t.co/usHTCZ38LI
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) January 12, 2017
And then, less than an hour later, he appeared on Fox to brag about… threatening to kick Acosta out of the presser for being “disrespectful” to Trump (by asking him a hard question).
“I went over to him. I informed him that, as I said, I thought his behavior was rude, disrespectful, and inappropriate and if it happened again, I would have him removed.”