World

White House bars CNN reporter after heated Trump exchange

WASHINGTON: The White House on Wednesday suspended the press pass of a CNN reporter who earlier sparred with Mr Donald Trump at a news conference in which the US president branded the journalist an "enemy of the people".

A visibly angry Trump had called reporter Jim Acosta a "rude, terrible person", after the CNN White House correspondent refused the president's orders to sit down and give up the microphone during the conference one day after the US midterm vote.

The heated exchange began after the journalist persisted with questions about the president's views on a caravan of Central American migrants making its way to the US border.

Mr Acosta said: "They are hundreds of miles away. That is not an invasion."

At that point, the president snapped. "Honestly, I think you should let me run the country. You run CNN, and if you did it well, your ratings would be higher," Mr Trump said.

As the reporter continued, Mr Trump declared: "That's enough, put down the mic" and walked away from his own podium, as if he were leaving.

The intern attempted to grab the microphone from Mr Acosta, who tried to shout out one last question.

'RUDE, TERRIBLE PERSON'

Waving his finger, Mr Trump berated him. "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," he said.

In suspending Mr Acosta's press pass, White House spokesman Sarah Sanders accused the veteran journalist of "placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job", calling his conduct "unacceptable".

In response, both CNN and journalists who had been at the press conference voiced support for Mr Acosta as the White House Correspondents' Association issued a statement saying it objected to the administration using security credentials as a tool to punish reporters. - AFP

WORLD