WASHINGTON - After a testy exchange with President Donald Trump during a post-midterm election news conference on Wednesday, CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta has had his White House press credential suspended.
Acosta tweeted Wednesday night that he was denied entrance onto the White House grounds by the Secret Service.
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
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
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed the suspension of Acosta’s press pass in a statement, saying Acosta’s conduct was "absolutely unacceptable."
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
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
In response to Sanders' statement that she posted on Twitter, Acosta wrote in a retweet, "This is a lie."
“The White House announced tonight that it has revoked the press pass of CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta," CNN said in a statement. "It was done in retaliation for his challenging questions at today’s press conference. In an explanation, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders lied. She provided fraudulent accusations and cited an incident that never happened. This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better. Jim Acosta has our full support.”
The White House Correspondents' Association released a statement saying it strongly objected to the Trump administration's decision.
WHCA statement on White House decision on credentials. pic.twitter.com/bukK7CGu2G— WHCA (@whca) November 8, 2018
The sparring between Acosta and Trump came after the CNN reporter asked Trump why the caravan of Central American migrants marching to the U.S.-Mexico border was an issue that was emphasized during the election.
"You should let me run the country," Trump said. "You run CNN and if you did it well, your ratings would be much better."
After Acosta tried to ask another question, Trump said, "That's enough!" and a White House intern tried to grab the microphone from Acosta.
"CNN should be ashamed of itself having you work for them," Trump said. "You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn't be working for CNN. The way you treat Sarah Sanders is horrible. The way you treat other people is horrible. You shouldn't treat people that way."
Journalists assigned to cover the White House apply for passes that allow them daily access to press areas in the West Wing. White House staffers decide whether journalists are eligible, though the Secret Service determines whether their applications are approved.
Information from the Associated Press used in this report.