CNN's Jim Acosta: Trump is 'crazy like a fox'

CNN's chief White House correspondent Jim AcostaJames (Jim) AcostaJournalism industry falters when nation most needs it New White House press secretary roughed up in scuffle with North Korean guards: report Five memorable moments from Sarah Sanders at the White House MORE on Sunday weighed in on discussions about President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE’s mental state, saying he thinks Trump is “more crazy like a fox."

"I tell folks, I’m not a psychiatrist," Acosta said on CNN's "Reliable Sources." "I can’t assess the president’s mental state, but I will tell you my sense of it, covering him for a pretty long period of time now, is that he’s more crazy like a fox."

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Acosta went on to note former White House chief strategist Steven Bannon told him in an interview that Trump purposefully says sensationalistic things to stir reactions from the press. 

"Bannon explains in an interview that I had with him, that what Trump tries to do is really control the narrative by saying sensational things that sound wild and nutty sometimes, and he does this because he knows it dominates the news cycle," Acosta said. "That makes it a priority for us in the news business to talk about him nonstop. And he loves that and he capitalizes [on] that."

Acosta, who has repeatedly sparred with the White House, spoke with CNN's Brian Stelter just days ahead of the release of his book, "The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America," which dives into the Trump administration and its relationship with the press. 

His comments about Trump came hours after George ConwayGeorge Thomas ConwayKellyanne Conway: 'I totally disagree' with husband's op-ed calling Trump racist George Conway calls Trump a 'racist president' in new op-ed George Conway's group: Trump tweets 'should be rejected by every American' MORE, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet George Conway calls Trump a 'racist president' in new op-ed George Conway's group: Trump tweets 'should be rejected by every American' MORE, said that Trump was "mentally unwell."

"You're mentally unwell. You engage in bizarre, irrational, self-defeating behavior, which prompts criticism of you, which triggers more bizarre, irrational, self-defeating behavior," Conway tweeted after Trump explained why he often took aim at the "corrupt" media. "You would have been fired from any other job by now." 

Conway, a repeated critic of Trump, later tweeted that it was "astonishing" that the press would not confront the "fact that we have a psychologically unwell and unfit president."

Asked if he had any regrets, Acosta said he wished "at times, the press had been more in solidarity with one another and standing up to the White House, and saying listen, 'the president can’t call us the enemy of the people.' "

Acosta gained attention in November after the White House revoked his press credentials. CNN later sued and a federal judge ruled in the network's favor, restoring Acosta's credentials. Acosta said Sunday that the case was "very important," adding that, had the Trump administration won, "it would have sent shock waves through our industry.”