Right after the midterm elections concluded, President Donald Trump threw the United States into another contentious news cycle. Instead of choosing to face the reporter’s questions, his administration revoked prominent CNN journalist Jim Acosta’s press pass, pushing false allegations that he’d assaulted a female White House intern. It seems, though, that Acosta is winning at the president’s own game.
He’s passed the one million follower mark on Twitter in the days since the original press conference where the tension exploded. On Tuesday — the day of the midterms — he was at 786,588 followers, and by Friday, he’d hit one million. He added over 154,000 followers just on Thursday, the day immediately following his latest high profile contentious clash with the president.
For the record, on Thursday — according to analytics from SocialBlade — Donald Trump added some 23,641 followers. The next day, he lost over 79,000, perhaps indicative of spam or bot accounts shutting down — or something.
Early Wednesday, Trump had called an abrupt news conference to discuss the midterm election results. In familiar fashion, he glossed over losses — attributing them at least in part to Republicans’ hesitation to “embrace” him — and discounted the legitimacy of Democratic positions. He claimed, for instance, that if the newly Democrat-led U.S. House launches their seemingly impending rounds of investigations into the White House, the GOP will fire back with their own (punitive) investigations.
Acosta used the opportunity to pressure the president on some of his own positions, pointing out, for instance, that there’s little justification for his claims that a caravan of migrants making their way through Central America constitutes an “invasion.” Trump wasn’t having it, and resorted to childish insults, demanding that the “rude, terrible” Acosta stick to his job at CNN and let Trump run the country.
An intern attempted to take Acosta’s microphone at one point and the journalist politely refused, which is where the administration got their inspiration for claims of assault.
Trump, though, himself shattered that already fragile defense. He told reporters not long after that other journalists could have their credentials revoked too if they’re not “respectful enough” — in other words, that’s all it was about in the first place. The Trump administration believes members of the press should be “respectful” to them apparently above their belief in the right to freedom of speech enshrined in the First Amendment.
It’s hardly as though Acosta or the press as a whole has proven deterred by the administration’s harassment. Besides the talk of CNN suing the administration over the revocation of Acosta’s access to the White House grounds, the reporter himself has dutifully continued with his journalism. He went to France, for instance, for President Trump’s trip there this past weekend — posting a selfie from the Eiffel Tower, among other things, which garnered tens of thousands of engagements.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) November 9, 2018
At another point, he added that:
‘A source familiar with Trump’s discussions with other world leaders here says Donald Trump appears to be in a “sour” mood and “testy” at times while engaging with those leaders.’
No matter where he goes, President Trump can not escape accountability to the truth.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot