Dem congressman says Trump ‘set up’ Jim Acosta with WH intern, believes it was all ‘staged’

As Jim Acosta has been roundly condemned or openly supported after his press conference confrontation with President Trump, one congressman is convinced the incident was a set up.

Representative Gerry Connolly was asked Thursday by TMZ about the heated exchange between the CNN White House correspondent and the president which unfolded during a White House press conference on Wednesday.


“Do you think he’s going to have a better relationship with all these reporters?” a TMZ reporter asked the Virginia Democrat in a street interview on Thursday.

“I would not argue that he’s [got] to have a better relationship with the reporters, given the fact he pulled Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials yesterday in kind of a staged setup,” Connelly replied.

“It was kind of a disgusting scene. So I think it raises very worrying questions about any respect at all he has for the free press and the role of the free press in a democratic society,” he continued.

“When you say staged, do you think he came in to distract?” the TMZ reporter asked the Democratic lawmaker to clarify.

“I believe they had an intern deliberately set up Jim Acosta. Yeah, I think that was pretty clear,” Connelly confirmed his conspiracy theory.

Acosta’s press pass was pulled Wednesday after the contentious back and forth with Trump at the president’s post-election press conference.

Acosta asked a non-question about the president’s rhetoric on the migrant caravan, pressing him on why he called the thousands of people headed through Mexico to reach and cross the US border illegally an “invasion.” The CNN correspondent was not satisfied with Trump’s response that they had a difference of opinion and continued to argue with him even after Trump tried calling on another reporter.

The president angrily berated him, telling him to hand over the microphone and sit down.

Acosta refused to relinquish the microphone, even briefly wrangling with a White House intern who tried unsuccessfully to retrieve it and move it to another reporter.

With Acosta’s defiant behavior and accusations that he was physically aggressive with the intern – which he denied – White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced that his press credentials were being yanked. Acosta refuted the claim in a tweet responding to Sanders.

CNN stood by their reporter and condemned the move.

Meanwhile, Twitter users mocked Connelly’s suggestion that Trump and the White House “deliberately set up” Acosta.


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