President Donald Trump responded to claims that a video shared by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was doctored. Sanders released a statement from the White House after the incident, stating, "President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration".
The encounter with Mr. Acosta came during a testy exchange with Mr. Trump over a caravan of illegal migrants from Central America.
When NBC reporter Peter Alexander took the mic for the next question, he defended Mr Acosta as a "diligent reporter" - earning Mr Trump's ire. She's gets publicity, and then she gets a pay raise and a contract with I think CNN.
The dramatic White House expulsion of Attorney General Jeff Sessions may be getting all the attention, but there was another one that some consider just as important: the banning of journalist Jim Acosta.More news: Iceland Christmas advert banned for being too political
More news: Democrats ready to pursue aggressive Trump oversight: Pelosi
More news: McConnell Warns New House Dem Majority Against 'Presidential Harassment'
"Skilled journalists know that you can be persistent without being disrespectful". She said on the network that the three presidents she covered prior to Trump may not have liked every question she asked, but understood why she did so. He commented on the Acosta event: "Not only didn't he accost her-he said 'pardon me, ma'am.' But that's where the Hucka-B.S. machine comes in". "That's not doctoring", Trump said, also telling the press, "Nobody manipulated it, give me a break". "She's the White House press secretary". "CNN should be ashamed of themselves, having you work for them", he said. "When you're in the White House, this is a very sacred place to me". He expressed annoyance at the types of questions that are asked, the way that they are asked, and what reporters have said about him, i.e. their type of coverage.
Acosta responded by calling Sanders a liar.
Despite the video's dubious origins, Sanders doubled down in a White House statement on Thursday saying "The question is: did the reporter make contact or not?" He was promoted to chief White House correspondent earlier this year.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told "Fox and Friends" on November 8 "The reporter from NBC was already standing, getting ready to ask his question, and she was just doing her job, which was to reclaim the microphone that belongs to the federal government".
The attack on Ryan was unprovoked, although the president had appeared upset at Wednesday's news conference when Ryan stood up and asked him, without a microphone, about voter suppression in the midterm elections.
Social media has lit up after a stoush between President Donald Trump and CNN reporter Jim Acosta, with rival camps trying to claim the higher ground. "To be honest. You aren't the best", he hit back.