President Donald Trump continues to dig into his positions as the partial federal government shutdown he’s sparked by refusing to approve any funding without billions of dollars for a border wall drags on. This Friday speaking to the media, he flailed yet again when pressured over his stance, mocking CNN reporter Jim Acosta for doing his job because that’s what presidents do these days apparently.
During Trump’s trip earlier in the week to the southern border city of McAllen, Texas, Acosta went out to the border and filmed himself finding no evidence of an invasion or crisis, as Trump claims. The president claims there was no crisis because there’s a wall — but actually there is a crisis so we need more wall. Or something.
As reporters shuffled out of the room at the White House this Friday, Trump thanked Acosta for his “sales,” the idea being that Acosta marketed the concept of a wall because there was no crisis, but since there is a crisis… some other place… we need more wall.
Video of the encounter (that wasn’t featuring Acosta on screen during the remarks) seems to indicate that Trump was responding to Acosta asking how he’d answer allegations he was over hyping the situation at the border when dismissing the reporter.
The two have a lengthy tenuous relationship stretching all the way back to the first and only press conference he held as president-elect, when he shut down Acosta over his network’s publication of the infamous “Trump dossier” featuring detailed allegations of Trump team collusion with Russia.
Much more recently, the White House tried to completely block Acosta’s access to the White House by falsely claiming he’d physically assaulted an intern who was trying to take his microphone after Trump dismissed his questioning. After a court battle, Acosta got his access back.
That was hardly the only lie Acosta has faced from the Trump team however. During the press availability in which he encountered Trump this Friday, Trump offered some of his familiar nonsense about the border crisis that Acosta tried to counter by videoing that there’s no visible evidence, ranting:
‘We have a country that’s under siege… we have a country that’s being invaded by criminals and by drugs.’
It remains bonkers that they constantly push this line about undocumented immigration equaling criminals and drugs when crime and drugs pop up everywhere else you could dream of. They’re just singling out immigrants.
The racist lies have consequences, as hundreds of thousands of government workers continue to face indefinite periods of no pay while Trump holds their jobs — and the services they provide — hostage.
Before he asked Trump where the crisis was, Acosta asked what message he had for the federal workers who this week got no pay. He claimed without any apparent evidence that the workers are behind his efforts for a wall, offering:
‘The message is that I appreciate their service to the country. They’re incredible people… but many of them agree with what what I’m saying and what the people in this room who are experts are saying. They don’t want to see people killed because we can’t do a simple border structure, and I appreciate their incredible support.’
Featured Image via screenshot from the video