A new book by CNN Chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta — who has often been on the receiving end of Donald Trump accusations of “fake news” — reveals that behind the scenes and even in private talks with reporters, Trump’s White House aides and officials have some derogatory and potentially explosive things to say about him. One “senior White House official” once told Acosta that Trump is “insane,” according to a Guardian newspaper preview of Acosta’s book.
Acosta’s book, The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America, is scheduled to be published on June 11, according to publisher HarperCollins.
Trump once called Acosta “a rude, terrible person,” during a press briefing, as quoted by The Guardian. But Acosta says in the book that in an early confrontation back in February of 2017, Trump considered it “an act” when he slammed Acosta and CNN as “fake news.”
Acosta says that then-White House Communications Director Hope Hicks personally phoned Acosta after the contentious exchange, telling him that he had conducted himself in a “very professional” manner and that Trump admired him, privately telling her, “Jim gets it,” according to a Fox News account of Acosta’s reporting in the upcoming book.
“When he called us ‘fake news’, it was, in his mind, an act,” Acosta writes in The Enemy of the People, according to the Fox News account.
The reporter also writes that speaking to Acosta behind the scenes, one senior White House official confided, “the president’s insane,” according to quotes appearing on the news site Raw Story.
And in one potentially blockbuster revelation, a “former White House national security official” told Acosta that top Trump staffers suspected that Trump was “compromised” by Russia, according to the various media accounts of Acosta’s not-yet-published book. The Guardian said that it had obtained a pre-publication copy of Acosta’s book.
In November of 2018, the White House revoked Acosta’s press credentials and banned him from the grounds after a heated press conference exchange in which Acosta attempted to grill Trump over his claims that “migrant caravans” were heading to the southern U.S. border. A judge later overruled the Trump administration decision and restored Acosta’s press pass, The Washington Post reported.
White House officials at the time accused Acosta of assaulting a female staff member who attempted to wrench a microphone from Acosta’s hands, an accusation that Acosta calls a “disgusting smear” in the book, according to The Guardian.
He also reveals in the book that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, despite frequently attacking and criticizing reporters, also often drinks at local bars with those same reporters, and can “throw back her Maker’s and Coke with the best of them,” Acosta writes, according to the Guardian account.