- President Donald Trump took aim at two journalists on Friday – CNN’s Jim Acosta and American Urban Radio Networks’ April Ryan – during a press availability on the White House lawn.
- “I mean, you talk about somebody that’s a loser,” Trump said of Ryan. “She doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing.”
- Trump also disputed claims that a video shared by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders of an encounter between Acosta and a White House intern – which led to the White House suspending the reporter’s press credential – was doctored to exaggerate the brief contact made between Acosta and the intern.
President Donald Trump continued to verbally attack journalists covering the White House during a Friday chat with the press on the lawn of the White House.
Responding to questions about his encounter with CNN’s Jim Acosta during a press conference on Wednesday, Trump directly ridiculed both Acosta and journalist April Ryan.
“He is a very unprofessional guy,” Trump said of Acosta. “Whether it was me or Ronald Reagan or anybody else, he would have done the same thing. Look, I don’t think he’s a smart person, but he’s got a loud voice.”
In addition, Trump went after Ryan – a correspondent for the American Urban Radio Networks and a CNN contributor – who has similarly been aggressive in her questioning of the president.
“The same thing with April Ryan,” Trump said. “I watch her get up. I mean, you talk about somebody that’s a loser. She doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing. She gets publicity and then she gets a pay raise or a contract with, I think, CNN. But she’s very nasty.”
The attacks are another chapter in Trump’s drawn-out attacks on the press. The president previously called the press the “enemy of the people” and attempted to undermine reporting with which he does not agree.
Acosta’s White House press credential was suspended after the encounter with Trump on Wednesday after the White House claimed that the reporter “laid hands” on a White House intern who was trying to grab the microphone away. Acosta and CNN denied that the reporter hit the intern, arguing that Acosta simply tried to pull away from the intern.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted a video of the encounter which came from Paul Joseph Watson, an editor-at-large for the far-right conspiracy website InfoWars, which some experts say was doctored to make Acosta’s contact with the intern look more aggressive. Both Watson and Sanders disputed claims the video was doctored.
“They made it close up. They showed it close up,” Trump said when asked about the video. “And he was not nice to that young woman. I don’t hold him for that because it wasn’t overly, you know, horrible. But it was — all that was, when you say doctored, you’re a dishonest guy because it wasn’t doctored. They gave a close-up view. That’s not doctoring.”
Trump has been highly critical of Acosta in the past, clashing with the CNN reporter on multiple occassions.
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