Shortly before Jeff Sessions turned in his forced resignation letter yesterday afternoon, one story that was garnering most of the headlines for the day was Trump’s reaction to CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent, Jim Acosta. The ordeal began after Mr. Acosta challenged the President on his attacks of the migrant caravan.
“They are hundreds of miles away. That is not an invasion,” Acosta stated.
Trump then snapped back:
“Honestly, I think you should let me run the country. You run CNN, and if you did it well, your ratings would be higher.”
Acosta tried to get a few more words in, but Trump told him to “put the mic down” as he walked away from the podium and a female intern walked over to pull the mic from Acosta’s hand. At this point Acosta had still been shouting a question towards the president. As the intern grabbed the mic, Acosta’s left arm came down as he pointed at the President. His arm lightly touched the intern’s arm after she grabbed his other hand as well as the microphone.
In the video, which can be seen below, it is clear that Acosta did not chop at the intern’s arm. His left arm lightly glanced her arm in a natural movement as he spoke.
Jim Acosta will go down as an American hero before all this is said and done. This is probably the scariest I’ve seen Trump yet. This is not how an American President treats the press.
Absolutely chilling. pic.twitter.com/SIZWbOI6Q8
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) November 7, 2018
That’s not what an edited video, shared by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders shows, however. In the video below, shared by Sanders, Infowars and tens of thousands of other social media users, one can clearly identify the speed shifts midway through the clip. The edits of the clip make it appear as if Acosta’s arm is swiftly chopping down at the intern’s arm as she tries to pull the microphone from his other hand.
We stand by our decision to revoke this individual’s hard pass. We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video. pic.twitter.com/T8X1Ng912y
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 8, 2018
Shortly before Sanders posted this video, she issued the following statement on Twitter, stating that Acosta “put his hands on a young woman.”
President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, 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. It is also completely disrespectful to the reporter’s colleagues not to allow them an opportunity to ask a question. President Trump has given the press more access than any President in history. Contrary to CNN’s assertions there is no greater demonstration of the President’s support for a free press than the event he held today. Only they would attack the President for not supporting a free press in the midst of him taking 68 questions from 35 different reporters over the course of 1.5 hours including several from the reporter in question. The fact that CNN is proud of the way their employee behaved is not only disgusting, it‘s an example of their outrageous disregard for everyone, including young women, who work in this Administration. As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice.
The fact that the press secretary for the White House is sharing this video in order to rationalize the removal of Acosta’s press credential yesterday afternoon, shows just how far the White House appears to be going to demean the press and their ability to have access to this president.