Sarah Sanders, the White House Press Secretary falsely claimed that CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta put his hands on a female intern, attempting to justify the White House’s decision to revoke his White House press access.
The revocation of press privileges stems from the November 7, 2018 press conference.
The transcript of the exchange is as follows:Acosta: Thank you, Mr. President. I wanted to challenge you on one of the statements you made on the tail end of the campaign, uh, in the midterms.
Trump: Here we go.
Acosta: Well, if you don’t mind Mr. President…
Trump: Lets go, let’s go. Come on. (gestures hand and whistles, signaling to hurry up)
Acosta: That this caravan was an invasion.
Trump: I consider it to be an invasion.
Acosta: 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.
Trump: (sarcastically) Thank you for telling me that, I appreciate it.
Acosta: Why did you characterize it as such?
Trump: Because I consider it an invasion. You and I have a difference in opinion.
Acosta: But do you think that you demonized immigrants during the election?
Trump: Not at all. I want them to come into the country, but they have to come in legally. You know, Jim, they have to come in through a process. I want it to be a process. And I want people to come in, and we need the people.
Acosta: Your campaign…
Trump: Wait. Wait. Wait. You know why we need the people, don’t you? Because we have hundreds of companies moving in. We need the people.
Acosta: But your campaign had an ad that showed migrants climbing over walls and so on.
Trump: Well, it’s true. They’re not actors.
Acosta: But they’re not going to be doing that.
Trump: Well, no, it’s true. Do you think they were actors? They’re not actors. They didn’t come from Hollywood. These were actual people. It happened, you know, it happened a few days ago.
Acosta: They’re hundreds of miles away, though. They’re hundreds and hundreds of miles away. That’s not an invasion.
Trump: Honestly, I think you should let me run the country and you run CNN. And if you did it well, your ratings would be much better.
Acosta: Let me ask one more question.
Trump: That’s enough. (intern gets up to take microphone) OK, Peter go ahead.
Acosta: Mr. president if I may ask one more question, are you worried that…
Trump: That’s enough. That’s enough.
Acosta: Mr. president I was going to ask one more, the other folks who had… (intern tries to grab microphone and Acosta pulls away) Pardon me, ma’am, I’m… I’m…
Trump: That’s enough. Excuse me, that’s enough. Peter, lets’ go.
Acosta: Mr. president, I had one other question I’d like to ask, if I may on the Russia investigation. Are you concerned that you might have indictments coming down?
Trump: I’m not concerned about anything about the investigation because it’s a hoax. That’s enough. Put down the mic.
Acosta: Mr. President, are you worried that you might have indictments coming down in this investigation?
Trump: I’ll tell you what. CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN. You’re a very rude person. The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible, and the way you treat other people are horrible. You shouldn’t treat people that way.
To attempt to justify the removal of Mr. Acosta’s press pass, Sarah Sanders posted an edited video on Twitter that originated from the racist conspiracy website Infowars. The video removed Mr. Acosta saying “pardon me, ma’am”, zoomed in on his hands, slowed down the video, then sped it up when he moved his arms to try to keep the microphone, appearing as if he made a quick chopping motion to the intern’s arm.
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