Ari Fleischer (shown above left) rebuked CNN’s Jim Acosta for his behavior during Wednesday’s contentious briefing with President Donald Trump, saying that he “cannot defend” Acosta because he is not a “fair and neutral questioner.”
The White House yanked press credentials from Acosta (above right) after his controversial conduct during the fiery briefing.
The CNN reporter began his question to the president by saying he wanted to “challenge” him on his decision to call the latest Central American migrant caravan traveling to the U.S. up through Mexico an “invasion.”
“As you know, Mr. President, the caravan was not an invasion. It’s a group of migrants moving up from Central America towards the border with the U.S.,” Acosta said, pushing his own personal opinion.
Acosta also wanted to know why Trump “demonized immigrants” in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s midterm elections, suggesting — though he didn’t actually say so — that it was some kind of political ploy.
Trump said that he wanted people to “come in legally” and that they would need to go through a legal process to be in this country.
“Honestly, I think you should let me run the country, you run CNN, and if you did it well, your ratings would be much better,” Trump eventually told Acosta before trying to move along to another reporter.
But Acosta initially refused to give up the microphone to anyone else — and continued asking questions of Trump.
“That’s enough. That’s enough … Put down the mic,” Trump snapped.
The president also said, “CNN should be ashamed of itself [for] having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN … You’re a very rude person.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted on Wednesday that Acosta’s media pass had been revoked because the White House cannot tolerate a reporter “placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern.”
Sanders tweeted a video, which later was revealed to have been doctored to appear worse, showing Acosta apparently swatting away the female intern when she tried to take his microphone away.
“We stand by our decision to revoke this individual’s hard pass. We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video,” Sanders wrote.
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 …