White House suspends pass of CNN's Acosta after President Trump spars with reporters at post-midterm election press conference

AP logo
Thursday, November 8, 2018
CNN reporter, woman struggle for mic at Trump newser
President Trump sparred with CNN's Jim Acosta at a news conference Wednesday. A White House staffer took his microphone before Trump called him a "rude, terrible person."

WASHINGTON -- The White House says it has suspended the press pass of CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta.

The suspension comes after a heated confrontation Wednesday between Acosta and President Donald Trump during a news conference.

They began sparring after Acosta asked Trump about the caravan of migrants heading from Latin America to the southern U.S. border. When Acosta tried to follow up with another question, Trump said, "That's enough!" and a White House aide unsuccessfully tried to grab the microphone from Acosta.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has released a statement accusing Acosta of "placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern," calling it "absolutely unacceptable."

During his post-midterms news conference on Wednesday, he called some journalists rude, told some to sit down and accused a PBS reporter of posing a racist question when she asked about white nationalists. He blamed the press for the divisiveness in politics today. One confrontation with CNN's Jim Acosta turned bitterly personal.

He told yet another reporter he's "not a fan of yours, either."

FULL VIDEO: President Trump spars with reporters at post-midterm election press conference

President Donald Trump sparred with reporters at his post-election news conference, ordering several to sit down and telling CNN's Jim Acosta he's a "rude, terrible" person.

In response, CNN said Trump's attacks on the press have gone too far. The network said while Trump doesn't respect a free press, he has the constitutional responsibility to protect it.

The president's mood turned sour Wednesday after reporters pressed him on why he referred to a migrant caravan making its way to the U.S. on foot through Mexico as an "invasion." Trump ramped up his anti-immigrant rhetoric against the caravan in the final days of the midterm elections.

Trump was also pressed on why his campaign aired an ad featuring a Mexican immigrant convicted of killing American police officers and linking the man's actions to the caravan.

>>> California and Bay Area election results here

>>> National election results here

Several television networks pulled the ad after airing it or declined to air it at all.

Trump says he's happy with "most" of his Cabinet as he suggests changes may be coming. He said that he is "looking at different people for different positions," adding that "it is very common after the midterms."

Asked specifically about the future of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Trump says, "I'd rather answer that at a little bit different time."

RELATED: Trump rips Republicans who defied him, threatens to retaliate over Dem investigations

Trump has long been frustrated with Sessions over his recusal from the Russia investigation. Rosenstein's future appeared uncertain after reports that he discussed secretly recording Trump.

On Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Trump says he wants to "study whatever is being said." Trump adds that he's doing an "excellent job." Zinke faces a series of inquiries into his conduct.

RELATED: 'Year of the women': Female candidates who claimed historic victories on Tuesday'

Trump called out Republican candidates who apparently did not support him enough and lost congressional seats in Tuesday's elections. Trump crowed that Republicans held control of the Senate and then took aim at members of the House, where the GOP lost.

Rep. Mike Coffman in Colorado blames his loss on resentment toward Trump in his Denver-area district. The president responded: "Too bad, Mike."

As for Utah Rep. Mia Love's loss Tuesday, Trump said: "Mia Love gave me no love, and she lost," adding, "Sorry about that, Mia."

RELATED: Election 2018 diversity: These candidates claimed historic victories on Tuesday

Trump said his vigorous campaigning stopped a so-called "blue wave," ''if there ever was such a thing."

The GOP is expected to add to its Senate edge, but Democrats regained control of the House.

Full coverage on the 2018 election at abc7news.com/election.