Following a scandal at a US President Donald Trump’s press conference, the White House has withdrawn „up to date“ accreditation from participating CNN reporter Jim Acosta. The spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said last night (local time).
Trump had fought on the open stage a tangled dispute with the CNN reporter. „You are a terrible, outrageous person,“ the president snapped at the reporter known in the US.
Since Acosta had fought over the microphone with a White House employee, this was taken as a reason for withdrawing his accreditation. Although Trump believes in a free press and welcomes difficult questions about himself and his government, Sanders notes that such behavior towards a young White House employee is „never tolerated“.
Trump: „enemy of the people“
That CNN is now proud of its reporter’s work is „not only disgusting, but also an example of its outrageous disregard for all, including young women working in this government.“
The reporter had asked questions about the ongoing Russia investigations by special investigator Robert Mueller. „If you put fake news into what CNN does, you’re the enemy of the people,“ Trump accused. CNN must be ashamed to employ a person like Acosta.
Attacks against other journalists
The US President also spoke of „hostile media“ during the press conference. Several times he urged journalists to keep their mouths shut. An African-American journalist accused Trump of having asked a „racist question“. She had referred him to his self-description as a „nationalist“.
Almost two years ago, Trump was in New York – even before his inauguration – in a startling clash with Acosta because he had not liked his questions. NBC journalist Peter Alexander also got his fat off during the press conference when he defended Acosta as a „conscientious reporter.“ „I’m not a fan of you either,“ Trump scolded. „To be honest, you are not one of the best.“
Sender condemns Trump’s statements
The station CNN condemned in a statement the statements of Trump. „The President’s constant attacks on the press have gone too far,“ it says. „Not only are they dangerous, they are disturbingly un-American.“ Although Trump has sworn allegiance to the freedom of the press as enshrined in the US Constitution, he is committed to protecting it, but has repeatedly made it clear that he has no respect for press freedom left over.
The White House Accredited Correspondents Association (WHCA) has criticized the withdrawal of accreditation for Acosta as „weak and misguided“. To revoke access to the White House is disproportionate to the alleged offense and is „unacceptable,“ it says in a statement. The WHCA called on the White House to reverse its decision.