Donald Trump is a “street fighter,”MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said in rolling commentary during the live coverage of the president’s press conference.’ It all started when CNN’s chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, asked POTUS a question about whether he “demonized immigrants.” The two talked for a few minutes, then Trump came around the presidential podium and started toward Acosta.
Immediately after the near-altercation, Acosta responded on CNN, noting that the president was upset when he heard a caravan of migrants walking from Central America to the U.S. did not equal an “invasion:”
‘Well, when they go low, I ask the questions. It was about a lie he told about this caravan of immigrants moving to the U.S. Border was somehow an invasion when it’s not, they are still hundreds of miles away and they pose nothing of a threat to the United States. He didn’t like hearing that question, didn’t like being challenged on that point and he certainly doesn’t like being called out for his falsehoods.’
“He seems to be unaware of the fact that his immigration rhetoric and rhetoric on many levels was turning off a lot of suburban swing district voters. He doesn’t understand that,” he added. “I think the other point that needs to be made is during this press conference, the president time and again seemed to be attacking journalists of color. He was attacking my friend April Ryan, telling her to sit down.”
‘He sounded, I thought, very depressed, very despondent, almost defeated in the way he was talking about these election results. I think that’s probably why you saw things spiral out of control. We’re not used to — the president is not used to seeing himself lose and he lost big.’
That was when Acosta sat down. What kind of a leader treats the press like a street fighter would? The one leading the president of these United States, apparently. CNN released a portion of the two men’s exchange:
- ‘Acosta: Do you think you demonized immigrants to try to keep…
- Trump: No, I want them to come into the country. But they have to come in legally. Through a process. I want it to be a process. And I want people to come in. And we need the people. Wait, wait. You know why we need the people? Because we have hundreds of companies move in. We need to people.
- Acosta: Your campaign had an ad showing migrants climbing over walls and so on…
- Trump: That’s true. They were not actors. It is true. Do you think that they were actors? They did not come from Hollywood. These were people, this was an actual — it happened a few days ago and…
- Acosta: They are hundreds of miles away. That is not an invasion.
- Trump: Honestly I think that you should let me run the country. You run CNN. And if you did it well, your ratings will be much higher.
- Acosta: If I may ask one other question.
- Trump: That’s enough.
- Acosta: The other folks asked, pardon me, ma’am…
- An unidentified woman attempted to reach f the mic from Acosta.
- Trump: That’s enough.
- Acosta: If I can ask on the Russian investigation. Are you concerned that you may have…
- Trump: I am not concerned about anything with the Russian investigation because it is a hoax. That is enough, put down the mic.
- Acosta: Mr. President.
- Trump: I tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of themselves having you working for them. You are rude, terrible person. You should not be working for CNN. Go ahead. You are a very rude person, the way that you treat Sarah Huckabee Sanders is horrible. The way that you treat other people is horrible. You should not treat people that way.
- Trump then called on another reporter, Peter Alexander
- Alexander: In Jim’s defense I’ve traveled with him and watched him, he is a diligent reporter who busts his butt…
- Trump: I’m not a big fan of yours either, to be honest … You are not the best … Just sit down, please. When you report fake news — no. When you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you’re the enemy of the people.’
Jim Acosta wrote a tweet just days ago. It read “We are not the enemy of the people:”
‘We are not the enemy of the people. I am not your enemy. You are not my enemy. It is wrong to call your fellow Americans the enemy. We are all on the same team. We are all Americans.’
After the dialogue between Acosta and Trump, CNN released its formal response. The network not only defended Acosta wholeheartedly, it called the man sitting in the Oval Office out for acting in a way that was both “dangerous” and “disturbingly un-American:”
‘CNN’s response to
@realDonaldTrump’s press conference today:
This President’s ongoing attacks on the press have gone too far. They are not only dangerous, they are disturbingly un-American. While President Trump has made it clear he does not respect a free press, he has a sworn obligation to protect it. A free press is vital to democracy, and we stand behind Jim Acosta and his fellow journalists everywhere.’
Representative Ryan Costello (R-PA) supported Acosta. He tweeted:
‘To deal w harassment & filth spewed at GOP MOC’s in tough seats every day for 2 yrs, bc of POTUS; to bite ur lip more times you’d care to; to disagree & separate from POTUS on principle & civility in ur campaign; to lose bc of POTUS & have him piss on u. Angers me to my core.’
Associated Press photographer, Evan Vucci, tweeted about the Trump aide trying to take Acosta’s mike away:
‘@realDonaldTrump looks on as a White House aide attempts to take away a microphone from CNN’s @Acosta during a news conference.’
NBC News reporter, Peter Alexander tried to defend Acosta to the president to no avail:
‘I think that’s unfair. In @Acosta’s defense, I’ve traveled with him and watched him, he’s a diligent reporter who busts his butt like the rest of us.’
Twitter world caught fire. Check out some of our favorites below:
Featured image from Associated Press Chief Photographer In Washington’s, Evan Vucci’s Twitter Page.