CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta claimed Thursday that President Donald Trump referring to the media as the “enemy of the people” could help create an environment where journalists are killed.
Speaking before the Oxford Union Society in the United Kingdom, Acosta made several attempts at justifying his confrontational style when it comes to covering the Trump administration, which has not only garnered strong rebukes from the president, but even some of his own establishment media colleagues. In his remarks, Acosta criticized President Trump for characterizing news organizations which have a partisan bend against him as “fake news” or the “enemy of the people.”
Hello Oxford! pic.twitter.com/99wINxtQbl
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 31, 2019
“Perhaps they won’t stop calling us the enemy of the people because it works so well with their people, but all of this adds up to one painful reality: this is a dangerous time to tell the truth in America,” the CNN reporter told students, adding that proponents of such rhetoric create “an atmosphere where people can get hurt, where journalists can get murdered.”
His remarks were first reported by the British newspaper the Guardian UK.
Acosta is in the midst of penning a book on his purported“frightening” experiences covering the administration titled, The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America.
The forthcoming book, slated for release June 11, will detail “never-before-revealed stories of this White House’s rejection of truth, while laying out the stakes for how Trump’s hostility toward facts poses an unprecedented threat to our democracy,” according to the Associated Press.
In an interview with fellow CNN reporter Brian Stelter, Acosta said of the project: “Simply put, I am writing this book to share what I’ve experienced covering President Trump during his first two years in office. This sobering, bewildering, and sometimes frightening experience has made it absolutely clear that this is a dangerous time to tell the truth in America.”
“The president and his team, not to mention some of his supporters, have attempted to silence the press in ways we have never seen before,” he continued. “As just about everybody has seen, I have witnessed this first hand. As difficult as that challenge may be for the free press in America, we must continue to do our jobs and report the news. The truth is worth the fight.”
Acosta made national headlines after he was barred from the White House over a heated back and forth with President Trump during a press conference the day after the 2018 midterm election. In response, the network took legal action, which resulted in a federal judge reinstating the reporter’s press credentials. The White House accused Acosta of failing to abide by “basic standards” in his exchange with the president.