CNN’s Jim Acosta responded to his White House press pass being revoked Wednesday night, claiming the move is an attempt by the White House to silence the D.C. press corps.
Acosta told Anderson Cooper that he did not actually touch the White House intern he was accused of swatting away after President Trump had moved onto the next reporter. Video of the incident, however, clearly shows the CNN reporter pushing the staffer’s arm away.
“Obviously, you know, I didn't put my hands on her or touch her as they are alleging. And it's just unfortunate that the White House is saying this,” Acosta said.
Video, however, shows that he did.
Here’s the exact moment of the incident (at the 5th second you can see he physically swats at the intern’s arm twice):
Paul Joseph Watson posted a close-up of the incident in slow motion:
“I was trying to ask a question of the president at this press conference and it was obviously a question they didn’t like,” Acosta said. “It was about the ad they were running before the midterms. You can see in the video, the intern came up to me, they are describing her as an intern. I don’t really know who she is, and attempted to take the microphone away from me.”
“All I can say at that point is that I was trying to hang onto the microphone so I could continue to ask the president questions,” he continued. “Obviously, you know, I didn’t put my hands on her or touch her as they are alleging. And it’s just unfortunate that the White House is saying this. You know, we all try to be professionals over there. I think I handled myself professionally and I appreciate all the comments from my colleagues. I do think, Anderson, that this is a test for all of us. I do think they are trying to shut us down to some extent inside the White House press core, and to some extent I think they’re trying to send a message to our colleagues.”
“I saw the statement on my phone from Sarah Sanders that my press credentials were being revoked,” Acosta said later. “I thought I’d get in the White House for a live shot on your show. From that point I was blocked from entering the facility. As a matter of fact, there was an officer who stood in front of the doorway to the security booth that I’ve gone through every day for the last, every working day that I come to the White House for the last five so it was a pretty surreal I never thought in this country that I wouldn’t be able to go and cover the president of the United States simply because I was trying to ask a question.”