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CNN's Acosta defends comments in Variety: 'I'm not referring to Trump supporters'

CNN's Acosta defends comments in Variety: 'I'm not referring to Trump supporters'
© Greg Nash

CNN reporter Jim Acosta on Wednesday said he did not intend to imply that people who threaten reporters are all supporters of President TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE.

"Regarding my interview with Variety, my comments have been twisted by some outlets," he tweeted. "As you can plainly see, I'm not referring to Trump supporters. I am talking about people who threaten journalists. Links to transcript and video below."

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In an interview with Variety, Acosta said that many people do not realize that Trump's attacks on journalists are "an act" and that they could ultimately inspire violence against members of the news media.

Trump has called the media "the enemy of the American people" and repeatedly uses the phrase "fake news," as well as criticizing specific reporters by name on Twitter.

"The problem is that people around the country don’t know it’s an act," Acosta said in the interview. “They’re not in on the act, and they take what he says very seriously, and they take attacks from [former White House press secretary] Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerPsaki signals she's open to reviving 'Skype seats' amid pandemic Newsmax rescinds Spicer's White House Correspondents' Association application: report Sean Spicer applies to join White House Correspondents' Association MORE and [press secretary] Sarah [Huckabee] Sanders and what they do to us on a daily basis very seriously."

He also said such people "don't have all their faculties in some cases, their elevator might not hit all floors."

Acosta has often had a contentious relationship with officials of Trump's White House, sparring with the likes of Spicer and Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to the president.