Trump denies doctored Acosta video shared by White House was doctored, then threatens to ban more journalists
'Nobody manipulated it, give me a break,' president says
Footage tweeted by press secretary Sarah Sanders on Thursday appeared to show Mr Acosta karate-chopping a female intern during the president’s post-midterms press conference, along with the claim the journalist had placed his hands on the aide.
Analysis by The Independent suggests the video has been edited to freeze for three frames the moment before Mr Acosta’s hand pushes down on the aide’s arm.
But responding to a reporter’s question before boarding his flight to Paris for a trip to commemorate the end of the First World War, Mr Trump insisted the video had not been edited.
“Nobody manipulated it, give me a break,” he said. “See that’s just dishonest reporting. All that was was a close-up. That is just dishonest reporting.
“I watched that, I heard that last night. They made it close up, they showed it close up, and he was not nice to that young woman. I don’t hold him for that, because it wasn’t overly horrible.
“But when you say doctored you’re a dishonest guy.”
Mr Trump attacked Mr Acosta, whose press pass was rescinded by the White House over the incident, as ”a very unprofessional man” and “not a smart person”.
He also threatened that other journalists could lose their press passes if they were not “respectful”, according to CNN.
Continuing his attack on reporters, the president branded April Ryan, a CNN contributor, as “very nasty” and a “loser” who “doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing”. It came after he told the journalist to sit down during the same fiery press conference on Wednesday.
Mr Trump has long feuded with CNN and accused it of peddling “fake news”; the channel is one of his favourite punching bags. During the ill-tempered press conference, he singled out Mr Acosta as “rude”.
He has also threatened to revoke the broadcast licences of outlets whose content he dislikes, and stoked anger against journalists by denouncing them as the “enemy of the people”.
In a statement, CNN said the revocation of Mr Acosta’s credentials was done in retaliation for his challenging questions at the press conference.
The company said Ms Huckabee Sanders “had provided fraudulent accusations and cited an incident that never happened”.
“This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better. Jim Acosta has our full support,” CNN said.