Updated at 9:40 p.m. ET
The White House announced late Wednesday that it is temporarily suspending press credentials from CNN’s Jim Acosta.
The announcement came in a statement by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. It followed an unusually contentious press conference held by President Trump in the East Room of the White House in which the president called Acosta “a rude, terrible person.”
Acosta had challenged the president on his characterization of the migrant caravan moving through Mexico as an “invasion.”
After a few moments of verbal sparring, Trump angrily declared “that’s enough” as a White House aide moved to take the microphone away from Acosta. The CNN reporter refused to relinquish the mic, brushing the woman away and tried to ask another question. Trump moved away from his podium and then pointed his finger at Acosta and said, “CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them.”
In her statement, Sanders said:
“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. … As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice.”
A video of their interaction is available here.
Acosta tweeted a video of him surrendering his “hard pass,” or press credentials to the Secret Service.
The White House Correspondent’s Association issued a statement saying it “strongly objects to the Trump Administration’s decision to use US Secret Service security credentials as a tool to punish a reporter with whom it has a difficult relationship. Revoking access to the White House complex is a reaction out of line to the purported offense and is unacceptable. …We urge the White House to immediately reverse this weak and misguided action.”
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