CNN’s Jim Acosta, the human subject of Donald Trump’s “fake news” condemnation, who the President-Elect refused to allow ask a question at his first press conference in five months, says he was told that if he hadn’t shut up, he would have been banished.
After Trump had taken CNN behind the tool-shed for running the initial report of compromising dirt allegedly held by Russian intelligence (he also called Buzzfeed “garbage” and referred to the BBC as “another beauty”), Acosta tried to get the President-Elect to deny or confirm the report’s material claims. Trump refused in a prolonged back-and-forth, ending with him dubbing CNN “fake news.”
Shortly after Acosta spoke to Jake Tapper and Wolf Blitzer in the CNN studio and told them that Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer had followed the public scolding with a threat of exile.
“After I asked and some might say demanded that we have a question, Sean Spicer, the incoming press secretary, did say to me that if I were to do that again, I was going to be thrown out of this press conference,” Acosta told Blitzer and Tapper.
If Acosta had been removed, it would not be the first time a member of the mainstream press was kicked out of one of Trump’s events. A POLITICO reporter was removed from a Trump rally in San Jose, California last June.
In August 2015 Trump personally ejected one of the most respected and prominent Latin American journalists in the country, Jorge Ramos of Univision, from a press conference in Dubuque, Iowa, telling Ramos “Go back to Univision,” CNN reported.
“He was out of order. I would take his question in two seconds,” Trump said.
“Here’s the problem with your immigration plan. It’s full of empty promises,” Ramos told Trump, when he was allowed back in the press room.