The Associated Press blasted the White House on Thursday after it revoked the press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta following his heated back-and-forth with President TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE at a Wednesday news conference.
“It is the essential function of a free press in every democracy to independently gather and report information in the public interest, a right that is enshrined in the First Amendment,” the news agency said in a statement.
“We strongly reject the idea that any administration would block a journalist’s access to the White House.”
The statement from the news agency comes after the White House announced its suspension of Acosta's press credentials shortly after a verbal confrontation between the reporter and Trump.
At the post-midterm elections news conference, Trump could be seen growing frustrated with Acosta's line of questioning regarding a migrant caravan and abruptly cut off the reporter by saying, “OK, that's enough.”
"CNN should be ashamed of themselves, having you working for them," Trump said. "You are a rude, terrible person."
Acosta was approached by a White House intern who tried to take the microphone out of his hand, to which the CNN reporter said, “Pardon me, ma'am,” refusing to let go of the mic.
The reporter’s hand then appeared to brush the intern’s arm during the incident and the woman then crouched down out of the view of the camera and moved away from Acosta.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later justified the White House’s decision to yank Acosta’s press pass, claiming that the reporter had become physical with the young female intern during his exchange with the president.
The White House has since drawn swift backlash from Twitter users, including many journalists, who slammed Sanders and have accused the press secretary of lying and releasing doctored footage of the incident to back up her story.