Acosta Did Not Accost Her

Jim Acosta speaking at a campaign rally for Donald Trump at the South Point Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

During President Trump’s 90-minute press conference after the mid-term elections, CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta stood up to ask the President a few questions about the immigrant “caravan.” Annoyed with the questions, Trump began to insult Acosta, calling him a “rude, terrible person.”

Acosta ignored the insults and continued questioning the president, even as a White House intern tried to pull the microphone out of the journalist’s hands. Holding tight to his mic, Acosta said, “Pardon me, ma’am,” and continued questioning Trump.

Later Acosta discovered that his press credentials to cover the White House had been revoked. The explanation for the revocation given by the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was revealed in the following statement:

“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. It is also completely disrespectful to the reporter’s colleagues not to allow them an opportunity to ask a question … As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice.”

To support the press secretary’s assertion that Acosta had “placed his hands” on the intern, Sanders tweeted out a video supposedly proving the accusation actually took place. Since the press conference was videotaped, and the incident was witnessed by all the people present as well as all the people watching on television, to assert such a falsehood seems the pinnacle of cynicism. Even worse, the White House’s version of the incident includes a ghostly hand which was apparently inserted into the video, supposedly touching the intern.

Independent experts have declared that the video is most certainly doctored.

Several journalist’s organizations such as the White House Correspondents’ Association, have criticized the action. Acosta said the accusation that he put his hands on the intern is “a lie.” CNN stalwartly stands by one of its most successful journalists.

Yet, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, appearing on “Fox News Sunday” told host Chris Wallace that Acosta still owes the White House intern an apology. She also denied the White House altered the video.

“Oh, well, that’s not altered, it’s sped up. They do it all the time in sports to see if there’s actually a first down or touchdown,” Conway told Wallace. “So, I’m going to have to disagree with, I think, the overwrought description of this video being doctored as if we put somebody else’s arm in there.”

Gail Nussbaum

Gail Nussbaum has been involved in politics and diplomacy for over 15 years. Her interest in foreign relations, economics and budget policy has led her to her position as fiscal policy writer at Left Justified. Gail can be contacted at gailnussbaum(at)

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