CNN national security and legal analyst Susan Hennessey is calling on White House press corp members to boycott future briefings after Jim Acosta, the network’s chief White House correspondent, had his press credentials revoked Wednesday evening. The suspension comes after a heated confrontation earlier between President Donald Trump and Acosta during a news conference.
Reacting to reports of Acosta’s credentials being revoked, a furious Hennessey tweeted: “This is a disgraceful and unacceptable attack on a free and independent press. The rest of the White House Press Corp should stand with their colleague @Acosta and refused to participate in any briefing until this appalling decision is reversed.”
This is a disgraceful and unacceptable attack on a free and independent press. The rest of the White House Press Corp should stand with their colleague @Acosta and refused to participate in any briefing until this appalling decision is reversed. https://t.co/JLp58t7LcG
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) November 8, 2018
The sparring between the pair occurred after Acosta asked President Trump about the caravan of migrants heading from Latin America to the southern U.S. border. When Acosta attempted to pose a followup question, President Trump said, “That’s enough” and a White House aide unsuccessfully tried to remove the microphone from Acosta’s hand.
“Honestly, I think you should let me run the country, you run CNN, and if you did it well, your ratings would be much better. Okay, that’s enough,” the president told Acosta after a brief exchange regarding the caravan.
Acosta, still refusing to allow other reporters to pose questions, then asked the president for his thoughts on special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
“I will tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them–you are a rude, terrible person, you shouldn’t be working for CNN,” President Trump told the CNN reporter. “You’re a very rude person, the way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible, and the way you treat other people are horrible, you shouldn’t treat people that way.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has released a statement accusing Acosta of “placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern,” calling it “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,” Sanders said in a statement. “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.”
Acosta shared a video of a U.S. Secret Service officer confiscating his pass after being denied entry for an 8:00 p.m. media “hit.”
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
At this time, no White House press corp members have expressed willingness to boycott future briefings.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.