Jim Acosta has been one of the fiercest questioners of Donald Trump, and on Friday the CNN correspondent seemed to have enough of Trump’s harsh and often violent rhetoric toward members of the media.
One day after a shooting at a Maryland newspaper left five people dead, Acosta shouted at Trump to ask when the president would stop calling members of the press the enemy of the American people. As Real Clear Politics noted, the shouted question came at the conclusion of a speech about Trump’s tax policy.
“Mr. President, will you stop calling the press the enemy of the people, sir?” Acosta said as the Trump-friendly crowd applauded the conclusion of the speech. Acosta repeated the question two more times as Trump did not answer.
Other reporters noted that the crowd, which had been assembled to be friendly to Trump, grew louder to drown out Acosta and other journalists who were shouting questions to Trump. Video from the event showed one audience member motioning to Acosta to be quiet at the conclusion of the speech, though Acosta ignored the man and continued trying to ask his question.
In the past, Trump had explicitly said that members of the press are the “enemy” of the American people, and has frequently referred to unflattering or critical stories as “fake news.” Trump has also labeled some stories about White House plans as fake — including planned departures from his administration — even though many of these have turned out to be true.
Trump did address this week’s shooting during his speech, USA Today noted. He said the deadly shooting at the Capital Gazette “shocked the conscience of our nation, and filled our hearts with grief.”
“Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job,” Trump said.
Donald Trump also pledged to support the families of the victims.
Though Thursday’s shooting appeared to be related to a longstanding feud the shooter had with the newspaper, many have criticized Donald Trump for encouraging violence against journalists for months at his rallies and public events, as well as his Twitter page. At his campaign rallies, Trump often pointed out to the crowd the sectioned-off area for members of the press, leading to jeers and shouts of abuse.
We also had a few folks who shushed is in the audience. Of course we are not going to be shushed. https://t.co/ZbSYaTVYti— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 29, 2018
Donald Trump left the event without answering Jim Acosta’s question about whether he would stop calling members of the press the “enemy.”