White House Suspends Access For CNN’s Jim Acosta

In a major escalation of President Donald Trump’s war with the media, the White House today suspended the access of CNN’s Jim Acosta from the White House “until further notice.” I have been highly critical of the President’s attacks on the media and, as many might expect, I am equally critical of this move. I felt Acosta was out of line in refusing to give up the mike at the press conference this week.  However, he did not manhandle a female aide as suggested by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and the appropriate response would be to make it clear to CNN that its reporters are not allowed to defiantly retain a mike or yell over the President in such conferences.

The on-air confrontation between the President of the United States and Jim Acosta, the CNN reporter showed both men at their worst.  The President launched into one of his tirades against CNN while Acosta refused to yield and gently pushed aside the hand of an aide trying to grab the mike.  Sanders stated “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. This conduct is absolutely unacceptable.”

While I felt Acosta crossed the line with his defiance and shouting, the video does not show a serious physical contact with the aide:


I felt sorry from the young woman trying to do her job, but she was not treated roughly.

CNN should address the conduct of its own reporter in his refusal to yield the mike and the floor. It seemed to me that Acosta, who I knew and like, was trying to argue with the President.  I have no problem with reporters shouting outside to get responses from a president but this is a formal White House press conference.  Reporters are given opportunities to ask questions but they are expected to yield the floor to waiting reporters.

None of this changes the fact that the President’s tirade was highly improper and chilling in calling Acosta the “enemy of the people.”  That hyperbolic language is damaging to the Office of the President and potentially dangerous for Acosta and other journalists.

The suspension should be lifted immediately.

390 thoughts on “White House Suspends Access For CNN’s Jim Acosta”

  1. Turley: “…the video does not show a serious physical contact with the aide…”

    If “LIGHT” physical resistance by someone 50# heavier, to the legal, ethical, and proper physical act of a WH intern retrieving WH property is OK, please explain in exact literal terms where is the line to be drawn that the “QUALITY” and/or “QUANTITY” of force is illegal?

    Laws are not written that way? Why? Because laws can not make such distinctions because it’s impossible to use words to describe physical force X as legal, but physical force Y is illegal. The law is written that physical force is illegal in this case.

    Let a jury decide whether to convict, and a judge to determine the punishment.

  2. JT, “the appropriate response would be to make it clear to CNN that its reporters are not allowed to defiantly retain a mike or yell over the President in such conferences.”

    And that is exactly what they did when they pulled Acosta’s permit. Too bad the intern wasn’t Michelle Fields, or we would be seeing a criminal complaint, and wall-to-wall coverage of the sexual assault.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  3. The Professor here is absolutely wrong and Acosta’s conduct was appalling. Merely being a member of the press corp does not entitle Acosta to be uncivil, impertinent, petulant, belligerent, a hog and a bully. I’d also respectfully suggest that the Professor see a good ophthalmologist. Instead of properly surrendering the microphone to the intern, as any decent, civil person would do under the circumstances, Acosta clearly used his right hand to inappropriately strike the intern’s left arm at the joint. Acosta wouldn’t have dared to do such a thing if a man had attempted to take the microphone when Acosta refused to yield.

    1. Normally the left would throw a hissy fit but Acosta is on there side so he gets a pass.

      I saw a light touching that was not chargeable as a crime. It was rude but not offensive.

      His credential properly revoked but don’t make a mountain over the molehill of him pushing her hand away

  4. “It seemed to me that Acosta, who I knew and like, was trying to argue with the President.”


    Yep and that’s enough to get your credentials pulled. The President of the United States is the duly elected representative of the American People. The 𝘖𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦 deserves the utmost respect, regardless of your subjective assessment of the character of the occupant, which, btw, is an opinion we in the public don’t give two crapolas about. If Acosta doesn’t know that by now he’s should be covering recipe submissions for the Trader Joe’s Newsletter. Hopefully that’s his next stop. He’s a peon, a reporter for a third-rate cable channel and a cad whether he slapped the intern, pushed the intern or merely brushed her aside. (I’m astounded to learn we now have a “roughly handled” requirement to battery. Here in the sticks we still go with “offensive physical contact” which a kindergartener could see. Then again, to Acosta and the rest of his highsnob media friends what we think in the hinterlands is of no importance.)

    That he won my alma mater’s distinguished alumnus award (named after one of the finest people I ever met) makes me want to throw up. Acosta, a victim? Hardly, he’s just removed rubbish trying to blow back in. Shut the door!

  5. Freedom of the press is essential for effective self-government. We need a press corp with access to get and report the truth. To that end, we need objective and truthful reporting from the press corp. When the reporting is biased and at times outright lying or misleading, then we are left with two bad options to trust; the government, or the news source.

    It’s absurd for Acosta to advise POTUS on how his administration should conduct immigration and border security policy. In the same vein, POTUS should not advise CNN on how to run its business. And CNN’s business does not extend to insisting White House press corp credentials should be granted to anyone they please. There should be journalistic and ethical standards adhered to by the press corp.

  6. Trump has never personally gotten physical with any reporter. In the original video, Acosta outweighs by 50#, and physically resists a WH employee who attempts to physically retrieve WH property. Exactly and specifically how is Acosta’s act not a crime?

    One you claim is it ever OK, for one even one millisecond, to use obviously greater physical force to physically resist the lawful and ethical physical actions of WH staff, then you have lost all moral and legal ground on this subject. If one MS of resistance of light physical resistance is OK, then you have lost all legal and moral and ethical position to say, “Well, 90 seconds of much stronger use of force is over the line.” No law is written that way, and Turley knows this better than anyone else reading this.

    Acosta made a conscious decision that that mic was his and he had no obligation to turn it over to its rightful caretaker, the WH intern. How in the H is that not the crime of theft and resisting the lawful actions and orders of the President and the intern.

    If Trump has no right to control the presser and every single that happens in the room except the questions, then Turley has given that power to the Press. Utter and complete fail.

    When Turley’s right he’s right (most of the time), when he’s wrong he’s wrong.

  7. The first issue with your analysis is calling that orange bully the POTUS, a word that implies all of the awe and dignity earned by people like Lincoln, FDR, and JFK. A POTUS is a dignified, respectable person who is first and foremost a patriot and altruistic to American values. That was not what you saw at the podium. What you saw was the raw fear of a coward who cheats his way through life and who is about to get caught, so he lashes out at someone he thinks is an enemy that he can bully. Fatso knows they’re coming after his tax returns, and then everyone will know he’s nowhere near as wealthy as he would have people believe. The returns contain information about the foreign companies and persons he is beholden to, since no American bank will loan him money because of 7 bankruptcies. That the returns will likely reveal massive conflicts of interest and violations of the emoluments clause. There may even be prima facie evidence of tax evasion and other laws. There’s nothing good for Agent Orange in these returns which is why he won’t voluntarily release them. Well, guess what: elections have consequences. Lying has consequences. He can’t stop the House from getting his tax returns. He pulled all the stops, played the race and xenophobia cards and lost the House anyway. As our representatives, members of Congress have a duty to investigate what foreign companies and individuals Agent Orange is beholden to.

    Secondly, you blame Jim Acosta, which is just plain wrong. Agent Orange interrupted him multiple times without allowing him to finish his question. Mr. Acosta was polite, never raised his voice, but, importantly, didn’t allow himself to be bullied, either. He didn’t allow that stupid female intern to grab away the mic. Who the hell does she think she is, anyway? I think she could be guilty of assault. He asked why Agent Orange, prior to the midterms, claimed that the migrant caravan was an imminent threat when they were “hundreds of miles away.” Because of the absurdity of this stance, instead of a substantive answer (he did mumble something about that’s what he thought, but we all know the truth), Fatso replied: “let me run the county and you run CNN.” Then he said that CNN should be ashamed of Acosta. He called Acosta “rude” at least 3 times, commented about CNN’s ratings, and then went after Peter Alexander of NBC. Then Sanders accused Acosta of “placing his hands” on that stupid female, which is, of course another lie, but an ironic one, given that Fatso brags about grabbing women by the genitals.

    You Trumpsters out there: explain to me why Agent Orange shouldn’t be accountable to the American people for saying things like this, and for diverting resources to protect against a so-called “threat” that isn’t imminent. Why is it OK with you when he launches into ad hominem attacks when he is cornered and an accounting is demanded of him? Then he said this: “when you report fake news, you are the enemy of the people.” What fake news? Fatso DID say that the migrant caravan was an imminent threat. What are the true facts, and why shouldn’t media be allowed to probe into these facts. How does this make CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, the WaPo, the NYT or any other non-Faux News entity an “enemy of the people”?

    What you saw was a pathetic, scared bully who can’t con his way out of the investigation that is to come, lashing out against a reporter asking a fair question and refusing to be bullied.

    1. “Dignified” POTUS? You mean like Obama? Who dropped a drone missile on the head of American citizen/Muslim 16 year old child Anwar Al-Awlaki, the tragic child who found his name wrongly listed on Obama’s Secret KIll List, without judicial charge? THAT kind of dignified?

      Has Trump ever done such thing as the above?

      “Dignified?” Like Obama promoting black abortions on demand to their current rate of 45%? (Keep working on it, Progressives…you can get to 100% if you really try.)

      Your NPC identity is clear: “Orange man bad!”

    2. Oh Lincoln was more than a bully he sent hundreds of thousands of men to their deaths for the supremacy of the Yankee economic system over a question of law that could have been worked out democratically in due time. such as it was in Brazil.

  8. The SS should arrest Acosta immediately and charge him with physically resisting the lawful actions of WH Staff, and be willing to go to trial. He outweighs the intern by 50 lbs, and he clearly physically resisted her lawful actions to retrieve the mic that is WH property, not Acosta’s and not CNNs. Have him spend 6 months in the worst Federal Prison and get a good taste of life in stripes without his morning lattes and late night Cognac. I doubt it’ll cool his jets, but it just might.

    Acosta screams out to make this personal. Make it as personal as a deep cavity search on his first day in prison, and hopefully sharing a cell with someone twice his size named “Bubba” with more scars than wrinkles.

    Progressives: “I’m all for convicting men for abusing women, as long as the man is not a progressive darling.”

    1. Princess: “The ‘S.S’. should arrest Acosta”..?????

      Princess you should know that day drinkers are not welcome on this blog. If you’re sitting around, getting drunk, at One in the afternoon, then you have a problem. Don’t bring it here.

    2. Princess please calm down. Prisoners should all be treated humanely.

      Acosta is a jerk and properly had his credentials revoked but he’s no grand batterer.

    3. The media are the representatives of the American people. Their job is to hold the government accountable, which is why freedom of the press is enshrined in the Constitution. The press cannot be “free” if they are only allowed to ask questions approved of by the White House, or if they are silenced when a government official doesn’t want to answer a question. The microphone used by Mr. Acosta belongs to the American people. On behalf of the American people, Mr. Acosta attempted to ask a valid question about diversion of military resources paid for by the American people to defend against an imaginary “threat” several hundred miles away, and the politicization of this nonexistent “threat”. Agent Orange has no valid answer to Mr. Acosta’s question, which is one big point here, so he attempted to silence Mr. Acosta by attempting to physically force him to relinquish the microphone. Mr. Acosta, as a member of the media, exercising his Constitutional right to demand accountability, had every right to politely insist upon an answer to his question and to not be physically silenced because of the inconvenient truth that Trump panders to xenophobia and racism and is lying about a fake “threat”.

      To make matters even worse, Sanders lied by accusing Acosta of touching this stupid intern, backed up by a demonstrably fake video. Agent Orange then launched into an ad hominem attack against Acosta personally, CNN, and the entire American media (not including Faux News, which has eliminated any doubt about it being a valid news organization), calling them “enemies of the people.” He then pulled Acosta’s press credential.

      This incident and Trump’s conduct should be deeply disturbing. We are headed down the path of Hitler’s luggepresse.

      1. the role of the press is not supreme over government itself. it’s role is to communicate not interfere. courts are the ones who strictly are there to hold other government officials accountable not just talking heads on tv

        the press things it owns america. no, it doesnt. the press is just one sector of private interests and they already have to vaunted a status and clearly need to be knocked down a notch to correct their arrogant self perception

        1. The role of the press is to question use of taxpayer resources and to speak truth to power. No one interfered with the rodeo clown, who still doesn’t get it: he is not an emperor. He is accountable for what he says and does, and the press are the ones tasked with holding him accountable. He doesn’t get to pick and choose what topics he wants to talk about and to only answer questions he thinks make him look good and from people he thinks are “on his side”. He doesn’t get to yank the plug on a microphone when he is asked about politicizing the military based on a lie about a group of people hundreds of miles away that he says are an imminent threat to the security of the United States. Reporters do not have to stand for being bullied by anyone in the performance of their Constitutionally-protected duties. No dipstick little “intern” has any “right” to yank the microphone away from a member of the press because the POTUS doesn’t like the questions being asked. Trump and the little dumbass were wrong all day long.

          Yesterday’s pathetic performance shows why he tweets constantly: he can’t stand it when he doesn’t control the narrative. He can’t stand it when he is questioned about the outrageous things he says and does. He doesn’t want to be accountable or even questioned. He’s never been held accountable before in his life, and he is on the precipice of an investigation by the House of Representatives that he can’t stop or control. He resents it when the media report on his daily lies. When the media speak the truth about his lies, his un-Presidential behavior, his failures and mis-steps, they are not enemies of the American people, nor is their reporting “fake news”. They are our representatives, doing the job the Constitution protects and which our founders specifically provided for as a check on presidential power.

          1. Anonymous – the interns job is to take the mic to the next reporter (I use the term loosely) after they have asked their second question. It is not the Acosta v Trump Show.

  9. The Trump always scream “innapproriate” when he doesn’t want to answer or respond to certain questions. And he usually throws in a bullying insult to boot….he’s a rag.



    White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Wednesday night shared a video of CNN reporter Jim Acosta that appeared to have been altered to make his actions at a news conference look more aggressive toward a White House intern.

    The edited video looks authentic: Acosta appeared to swiftly chop down on the arm of an aide as he held onto a microphone while questioning President Trump. But in the original video, Acosta’s arm appears to move only as a response to a tussle for the microphone. His statement, “Pardon me, ma’am,” is not included in the video Sanders shared.

    Critics said that video — which sped up the movement of Acosta’s arms in a way that dramatically changed the journalist’s response — was deceptively edited to score political points. That edited video was first shared by Paul Joseph Watson, known for his conspiracy-theory videos on the far-right website Infowars.

    Watson said he did not change the speed of the video and that claims he had altered it were a “brazen lie.” Watson, who did not immediately respond to requests for comment, told BuzzFeed he created the video by downloading an animated image from conservative news site Daily Wire, zooming in and saving it as a video — a conversion he says could have made it “look a tiny bit different.”

    Side-by-side comparisons support claims from fact-checkers and experts such as Jonathan Albright, research director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, who argued that crucial parts of the video appear to have been altered so as to distort the action.

    The video has quickly become a flashpoint in the battle over viral misinformation, turning a live interaction watched by thousands in real time into just another ideological tug-of-war. But it has also highlighted how video content — long seen as an unassailable verification tool for truth and confirmation — has become as vulnerable to political distortion as anything else.

    On Wednesday night, Sanders accused Acosta of “placing his hands on a young woman” and said his press credentials would be suspended “until further notice.” Press advocates called the move an unprecedented retaliation against a journalist.

    The seconds-long interaction has been analyzed in excruciating detail and likened to a 21st-century “Zapruder film,” the closely scrutinized amateur video of late President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. On social media, it has quickly become an object of massive ideological division, in which the same scene is open to very different interpretations.

    Watson wrote on Infowars that Acosta “clearly uses his left arm to physically resist/restrain the woman,” and that he “overpowered her.” Infowars, whose conspiracy theories include the baseless claim that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax, was banned this year by Facebook, Google and Twitter for sharing offensive or threatening content.

    In another video of the encounter tweeted by Sarah Burris, an editor at the left-leaning political blog Raw Story, the footage has been slowed down and annotated to show the four times the White House intern touches Acosta while trying to take the microphone. It has been viewed more than 1 million times.

    Edited from: “White House Shares Doctored Video To Support Punishment Of Journalist Jim Acosta



      An obvious question would be, “Why is the White House” sharing a video from InfoWars?

      If the White House felt the intern in question was manhandled by Acosta, then the matter should have been referred to the FBI or appropriate authorities for an official investigation. To rely on Info-Wars for documentation seems absurdly negligent. The media is scarcely going to accept an Info-War’s narrative.

      This situation is disturbingly peculiar and everyone should grasp that.

    2. well you can see over reaction to over reaction in play there.

      moving on to more serious topics!

      1. Kurtz: Why the dismissive, “moving on to more serious topics”?

        Yesterday’s press conference was absolute circus! Even Nixon never became as unhinged as Trump yesterday. And now the White House is posting video from a fringe news site! Nothing could be more serious than this highly peculiar chain of events.

  11. Professor, I feel confident that the White House press office has had conversations with CNN about the conduct of Acosta. The WH did not, however, choose to notify you. I’m a big fan of yours but you consistently fail to recognize that you don’t always know everything that goes on in the White House, behind closed doors or in private conversations or through “unofficial” channels. As a lawyer, you tend to analyze the law; as a political commentator, you tend to assume you have all facts.

  12. I felt Acosta was out of line out of the gate with the hostile and angry tone of his questioning of the President, which was more personal attack in tone and content (including an angry “do you expect to be indicted” at a press conference wherein Trump was taking questions about the midterm elections). Additionally, his first question was not a question at all, it was a statement of opinion (the caravan is not an invasion – one that Acosta kept insisting on as a premise for “why did you lie”). Acosta and Trump have a history, but clearly Acosta has let Trump get under his skin and he just cannot be professional when questioning the WH. And then there is the fact that CNN as a whole has taken on the role of political opposition instead of reporting the news.

    I strongly support the ban. These are not debates or town hall meetings. No matter how you personally feel about the president, he is still the president. If a reporter can no longer conduct himself in a professional manner he is and should be out.

  13. The intern assaulted Accosta. She grabbed the microphone from him. Sarah Huckabee falsely accused him of assault and published a falsified video to support the claim. He should sue her personally for libel.

    1. Earth to Progressive chronic TDS sufferer: The mic and the real estate belongs to the US government, the people, not CNN and not Acosta. He exists there as a guest of the WH. The sponsors of the event control the event and everything that happens within it, outside of the actual questions. The sponsors own the mic and its use. Acosta has no “right” to steal time and the mic from other reporters, which is exactly what he did and what you defend. Acosta gets to borrow the mic till the WH says otherwise.

      If the WH does not have sole control over the mic, and who asks questions and when, then who does? The reporters? Clearly Acosta and CNN would be the only persons talking in the entire room if they could get away with it. And Acosta was debating and pontificating and condemning more than asking questions (he even put words in the President’s mouth).

    2. Who owns the mic and has sole control over it use at all times? DNC agent and provocateur Acosta? If Acosta has sole control over the mic’s use, then by your metric he and CNN can tell the rest of the reporters to stay home and Acosta owns the entire presser.

    3. Frank, the videos are all essentially the same. Use whatever video you choose and take note how Acosta forcibly pushed the interns arm down. The mic was not his and it was something he was supposed to relinquish.

      If a thief grabs your wallet and you try and take it back I guess you believe that you assaulted the thief.

  14. The New York Times is doing a much better job of covering this administration than CNN. Their reporters try to avoid the limelight and ignore Trump’s tweets, and focus on his acts.

    Good reporting should ignore drama and focus on the actions of the president.

    CNN is playing into Trump’s hands by adding to this unnecessary drama.

  15. Disagree Jonathan. Acosta was out of line (again). CNN should nominate another reporter to take over Acosta’s WH credentials for the next 2 yrs.

  16. Jt obviously bending backwards to defend acosta. Acosta assaulted the aid several times by pushing her arms and pulling the mike away from her. Trump abetted this by not immediately having security remove this thug.

  17. Jim Acosta was a victim of the staffer . You don’t just grab from someone . You ask . There is no courtesy anymore . Trump sucks

    1. Oh right!. Now you equate a young and likely much less experienced staffer with the likes of Acosta? Now you are really showing just how foolish you are. But then wouldn’t expect anything else from globalists defending their own absurdery.

    2. Gloria, the mic didn’t belong to Accosta and he should have returned it after he asked the question and was told to relinquish the mic. That is the problem with many Democrats. They can’t distinguish between what is theirs and what is someone else’s.

    3. Any excuse to ok victimizing women for leftists hey Gloria? Your foreign ideology has no place in our Republic and is thoroughly disgusting.

    4. agree, totally. This administration is crippled by the plank in it’s eye. There is no decent way to converse or communicate, they obfuscate, call names and insult, a juggernaut to get thier waty regardless of the law or reality.

  18. Jerry, Acosta didn’t just obstruct or brush her hand, he pushed down on her arm forcing it to bend. Not terribly violent but has the characteristics of a battery.

    1. That was much more than characteristics of battery it was straight up hands down assault AND battery in any court in the nation. Suspend the suspension? What for? Not like CNN is important nor for that matter that bunch of foreign ideologists who rejected their citizenship in our Republic.

      1. no, rather, there is a lot of mild social touching, even a little bit of slight pushing, which can be rude and yet not criminally offensive. and it varies a lot by local customs and what is acceptable socially. cities take personal space more lightly than rural folk do, in general, for example.

        we don’t need to turn that molehill into a mountain

        but acosta is rude, trump rightly gave him the business and pulled his creds.

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