White House doubles down on decision to pull press pass from CNN’s Acosta

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders late Wednesday night doubled down on the White House’s decision to revoke CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials.

Sanders tweeted a video of Acosta’s encounter with a young female White House intern during a press briefing earlier Wednesday, an exchange she claimed was “inappropriate.”  

{mosads}”We stand by our decision to revoke this individual’s hard pass. We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video,” she wrote. 

Footage of Acosta and his tense exchange with President Trump shows a White House intern trying to take a microphone from Acosta, which he initially refused to give up. Acosta’s hand appeared to brush the intern’s arm during the exchange.

The video tweeted by Sanders focuses in on Acosta as he refuses to release the microphone to the intern who is attempting to take it from him.

The press secretary tweeted the video after fielding mounting criticism for pulling Acosta’s hard press pass. 

White House Correspondents’ Association President Olivier Knox on Wednesday night slammed the White House over the decision, calling for an immediate reversal of “this weak and misguided action.”

Sanders initially justified the decision by claiming that Acosta became physical with a young female intern during his exchange with Trump.

“President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his administration,” Sanders said. “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.”

Acosta and CNN denounced Sanders’s claim as a “lie.”

The encounter with the intern came as Acosta attempted to ask President Trump a question about the so-called migrant caravan heading toward the Southern border. 

Trump, growing noticeably irritated with Acosta, interrupted the reporter, saying, “OK, that’s enough.”

The young woman attempted to take the microphone out of his hand, which he refused to give away, saying “pardon me, ma’am” as he continued to ask his question. 

In a statement, CNN called the accusation that Acosta placed his hands on the intern “fraudulent.” 

“Here is a video of the interaction for the world to see,” CNN Communications tweeted with a video of the exchange.

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