The White House announced on Wednesday evening that it is revoking CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass “until further notice,” following a heated exchange between Acosta and Donald Trump, and the reporter’s refusal to hand over his microphone to a female staffer who came along to collect it.
According to NBC News, during today’s White House press conference on the midterm elections, Trump took a question from Acosta, who began asking him about the president’s description of the migrant caravan.
Trump interrupted Acosta with a “Here we go,” in response to which Acosta questioned Trump’s use of the word “invasion” to characterize the caravan of some 4,000 Central American migrants traveling through Mexico to claim asylum in the United States. Trump tried to move on to a different journalist, but Acosta went on the ask about possible indictments arising from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s presidential campaign. That’s when Trump told Acosta to “put down the mic,” but Acosta refused to relinquish it.
Trump called Acosta a “rude, terrible person” who should not be working for CNN. This was not a compliment.
The Guardian suggests that Acosta could, in theory, apply for a day pass and continue his reporting, but the process is unnecessarily byzantine and, of course, impractical for someone whose life revolves around going in and out of the White House.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders did her signature move where she defends the president with the most boring, obvious lies. She called Acosta’s behavior “absolutely unacceptable” and that his “hard pass” access had been suspended because he placed “his hands on a young woman.” She added, “It’s completely disrespectful to the reporter’s colleagues not to allow them an opportunity to ask a question.” The full statement can be read below.
What about this makes me irate? Aside from the lead claim that “President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration,” which is evidently absurd? It’s the way this administration wields women as props to defend itself against even basic questions about its malevolent agenda, which will continue to cause reported and untold harm to women at the border, across the country, and around the world.