He’s made no secret of his difficult relationship with the media during his US Presidency and Donald Trump has now let his fury boil over in an extraordinary exchange with a reporter following the results of the mid-terms.
In his first press conference since the Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives, Trump lashed out at CNN reporter Jim Acosta when he refused to sit down and give up his microphone on the US leader’s orders – calling him a “rude, terrible person”.
The fiery exchange between the pair started when Acosta asked if he had “demonised immigrants” during the mid-terms campaign, to which Trump replied: “No, I want them to come into the country. But they have to come in legally.”
Acosta then challenged his use of photos showing migrants climbing over a wall in his campaign, saying: “They are hundreds of miles away. That is not an invasion,” but Trump had clearly had enough, as he bit back: “Honestly, I think you should let me run the country. You run CNN, and if you did it well, your ratings would be higher.”
As Acosta tried to ask one more question on the Russia investigation, the President cut him off saying: “I’m not concerned about anything with the Russian investigation because it’s a hoax. That’s enough. Put down the mic,” before appearing to try to walk away from his own podium.
As an aide tried to grab the microphone off the reporter, he clung on to it while persistently trying to ask his question, prompting Trump to lash out saying: “I’ll tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN.”
Eventually NBC reporter Peter Alexander took the microphone and defended his fellow reporter, despite him being from a separate network, calling him a “diligent reporter” – which only proved to anger Trump more.
“I’m not a fan of yours either. To be honest. You aren’t the best,” he hit back.
Looking back at Acosta, Trump added: “The way you treat [press secretary] Sarah Huckabee is horrible, and the way you treat other people is horrible. You shouldn’t treat people that way… When you report Fake News, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people.”
CNN have since defended the reporter and praised others for standing up for themselves during the tense exchange.
The official Twitter account posted a statement which read: “This President’s ongoing attacks on the press have gone too far.
“They are not only dangerous, they are disturbingly un-American. While President Trump has made it clear he does not respect a free press, he has a sworn obligation to protect it. A free press is vital to democracy, and we stand behind Jim Acosta and his fellow journalists everywhere.”
It comes as Attorney General Jeff Sessions dramatically resigned just hours after the mid-terms, with some reports claiming he was fired from his position. Trump announced the news on Twitter, writing: “We are pleased to announce that Matthew G. Whitaker, Chief of Staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice, will become our new Acting Attorney General of the United States. He will serve our Country well….
“….We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.”
….We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2018
The Democrats took over control of the House of Representatives in the mid-terms, while the Republicans kept control of the Senate.