CNN's Jim Acosta defends shouting questions at Trump: 'If they want to send me to hell, I'll still be shouting at the devil'

Screenshot/CNNCNN reporter Jim Acosta
  • CNN reporter Jim Acosta has become a target of the President Donald Trump’s supporters and a hero of Trump’s critics for his aggressive questioning of the administration.
  • On Friday, Acosta made headlines when he shouted a question at Trump concerning his treatment of the press the day after five journalists were killed in Maryland.
  • Acosta deflected criticism that he’s grandstanding or violating standards of civility by shouting at the president. “If they want to send me to hell, I’ll still be shouting at the devil,” he said Sunday.

CNN reporter Jim Acosta has made a name for himself as a defender of the media’s free speech rights – a position that has made him a target of President Donald Trump’s supporters and a hero of Trump’s critics.

On Friday, the chief White House correspondent made headlines when he shouted a question at Trump about his treatment of the press, which Trump has called “the enemy of the American people,” after five journalists were gunned down in their Annapolis, Maryland newsroom.

“Mr. President, will you stop calling the press the enemy of the people, sir?” Acosta called out following a presidential speech at the White House.

Acosta defended his practice of yelling questions at the president – something he’s done on multiple occasions when Trump wouldn’t take his questions – during an interview with CNN’s Brian Stelter on Sunday.

Stelter asked Acosta if his tactics were simply attention-seeking or grandstanding. Acosta replied that it was reasonable for him to shout the question – both because it was an important one, and because the president sometimes responds to shouted queries.

“Listen, if they want to send me to hell, I’ll still be shouting at the devil,” Acosta said. “We have a job to do. I’ve said this times before and I’ll say it again. They can kick us out of the briefing room, they can kick us out of the White House. We’re still going to do our jobs.”

“I tried to ask the president if he would stop calling us the enemy of the people. He did not respond,” Acosta tweeted shortly after the Friday event. His tweet was “liked” 67,000 times.

Acosta was recently targeted with boos and jeers at a Trump campaign rally in South Carolina. One woman, Acosta said, whipped the crowd “into a frenzy” and repeatedly shouted at him to “go home.”

“An elderly woman came up to me and said that I needed to get the ‘eff’ out,” he recalled last month. “And then she turned to the crowd and whipped them all into a frenzy and they were saying, ‘Go home Jim, CNN sucks, fake news,’ and so on. And to me, it’s sort of like, really? This is civility?”

Other rally attendees asked Acosta to pose for photographs and sign their “Make America Great Again” paraphernalia.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.