Amid escalating tensions between the White House and CNN, President Donald Trump vowed to throw Jim Acosta out if he dares “misbehave” at a press conference, The Daily Beast reports.
“If he misbehaves, we’ll throw him out. Or we’ll stop the news conference,” Trump said.
“It’s fine, it’s not a big deal,” Trump first told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace after being asked about a federal judge’s decision to effectively force the White House into compliance, but then vowed to not only throw Acosta out if he “misbehaves,” but also to leave the press conference if any other journalist starts “acting up.”
“And if I think somebody’s acting out of sorts I will leave. I will say, ‘Thank you very much everybody, thank you very much for coming’ and I will leave. And those reporters will not be too friendly to whoever it is that’s acting up.”
As detailed by a previous Inquisitr report, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly granted Acosta and CNN the right to temporarily restore Acosta’s press credentials. Kelly was appointed by Donald Trump himself, which is perhaps why the decision to restore the reporter’s press credentials appears to have further agitated the president, as evident from his interview with Chris Wallace.
The White House had tried to bar Acosta following a heated exchange between the journalist and the president, during which a White House intern attempted to take the microphone away from the reporter. The White House later released a video, showing Acosta allegedly “putting his hands” on the intern.
President Trump insisted that the video was not “doctored,” as many have claimed. “All that is is a close up,” the president said, according to Vox.
As part of his ruling, Judge Kelly recommended to the White House to establish rules of conduct for members of the press. According to President Trump, the White House is already working on a set of rules reporters will be expected to adhere to. In a statement released earlier today, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Kelly’s ruling shows that there is “no absolute First Amendment right” to access the White House.
“Nobody believes in the First Amendment more than I do,” President Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, but as The Daily Beast notes, the president has referred to the media as “the enemy of the people” on numerous occasions.
Stephen Mihm, an associate professor of history at the University of Georgia, observed in an op-ed penned for Bloomberg that Donald Trump’s treatment of the media could backfire, drawing a parallel between Trump and President John Adams and his Federalist Party’s assaults on immigration and the freedom of the press.