CNN's Jim Acosta says the reason for his White House press pass suspension is a lie

 mashable.com  11/8/2018 2:15:13 AM   Johnny Lieu

Trump's fiery exchange with CNN's White House correspondent Jim Acosta has led to the reporter's press credentials being revoked.

On Wednesday evening, Acosta tweeted that he was denied entry to the White House grounds by the Secret Service, after his pass was taken off him.

I’ve just been denied entrance to the WH. Secret Service just informed me I cannot enter the WH grounds for my 8pm hit

— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) November 8, 2018

A video posted by Acosta shows a Secret Service officer informing the reporter that he was "just told to do it."

"Obviously no hard feelings toward the officer, but I am now giving my hard pass to the Secret Service," Acosta said in the clip. The officer can be then seen removing the pass off Acosta's lanyard.

The US Secret Service just asked for my credential to enter the WH. As I told the officer, I don’t blame him. I know he’s just doing his job. (Sorry this video is not rightside up) pic.twitter.com/juQeuj3B9R

— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) November 8, 2018

In a series of tweets, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later confirmed the indefinite suspension of Acosta's pass, accusing the reporter of "placing his hands" on a White House intern during Trump's press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

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...

— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 8, 2018

Acosta called the accusation a lie.

Sanders added Trump "believes in a free press and welcomes tough questions," and that he has given the press "more access than any President in history." 

"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," Sanders wrote.

"As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice."

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.

— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 8, 2018

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...

— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 8, 2018

...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

— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 8, 2018

As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice.

— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 8, 2018

So, what actually happened? At the press conference on Wednesday, Acosta asked Trump about why he characterized the migrant caravan heading toward the U.S. as an invasion, a question which the president lost his patience with.

"That's enough," Trump said, repeatedly telling Acosta to put down the microphone. 

The intern in question goes to grab the microphone from Acosta, but the reporter turns away, then moves his other arm to block the intern from taking the microphone another time.

CNN issued a statement on Twitter in full support of its chief White House correspondent, backing up Costa's assertion that Sanders' accusation was a blatant lie. 

The news outlet said Costa's press pass was revoked "in retaliation for his challenging questions at today's press conference," and that Sanders had "provided fraudulent accusations and cited an incident that never happened."

"This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better," the statement concluded.

Suitably, people had a lot to say about the Trump administration's accusation.

We all saw the video, Sarah. He kept trying to ask his question. He held onto the microphone, and he didn't lay a finger on her. Then your boss called him the "Enemy of the People." Then he called him a terrible person. This is so scary. What are you doing. What are you doing.

— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) November 8, 2018

This is a complete lie. The woman grabbed Jim's arm repeatedly. He never once touched her. In fact at one point @Acosta tells her politely "pardon me, mam" as she's yanking on his arm. https://t.co/Mfh3Ol5Q46

— Allie Malloy (@AlliemalCNN) November 8, 2018

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