White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the Trump administration made the correct decision in banning CNN reporter Jim Acosta from the White House.
“The question is: Did the reporter make contact or not? The video is clear, he did,” she said in a statement on Nov. 8. “We stand by our statement.”
“We stand by our decision to revoke this individual’s hard pass. We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior,” she also wrote on Twitter.
Acosta, in a statement, denied Sanders’ statement and said he and CNN “won’t back down” after the ban.
Sanders also noted that Trump took 68 questions from 35 different reporters over the lengthy press conference that lasted 90 minutes—the first one he’s held since the midterm elections. Acosta, she added, asked several questions during the press conference.
“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,” she stated.
In the incident, President Trump engaged with Acosta and then said he had enough of his questions before a young woman walked over to take the microphone away. The woman tried several times to reach around his left arm, and he put his right arm down to block her. In the exchange, Trump called Acosta a “rude, terrible person” and suggested CNN should fire him.
Later on Nov. 7, the White House suspended Acosta’s press pass.
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 (@PressSec) November 8, 2018
OK, I have been looking at this all morning – here's C-Span vs. the InfoWars clip from @PrisonPlanet that the White House tweeted. Any changes, if they did make them, would be incredibly minor – and possibly due to working across framerates and compressions pic.twitter.com/4FasYDZv4a
— Luke Bailey (@imbadatlife) November 8, 2018
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway also told “Fox and Friends”: “The reporter from NBC was already standing, getting ready to ask his question, and she was just doing her job, which was to reclaim the microphone that belongs to the federal government.”
“Obviously I don’t think anybody should have—any young woman, particularly—should have somebody swiping away at them and grabbing the microphone back,” she added.