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.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 7, 2018
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.
This is a lie. https://t.co/FastFfWych
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) November 8, 2018
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.
We’ve officially passed ludicrous speed and gone to plaid: Democratic rep.: Trump ‘deliberately set up Jim Acosta’ with ‘staged’ intern incident – https://t.co/xLSygkBlij
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) November 8, 2018
This deserves a chronic facepalm ??♀️
— Tootsie ? (@TootsieBulldog) November 8, 2018
At the very least.
— Caveman (@lonesentinal) November 8, 2018
It’s a Democratic lawmaker foolishly alleging the intern incident with Acosta was staged. So yes, as a media reporter I find that newsworthy.
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) November 9, 2018
Two years of rude behavior and poor reporting is the reason his pass has been pulled.
— john slotkin (@john_slotkin) November 8, 2018
Smh…. you cant make this stuff up??? how can anyone believe this was “set up?”…. God help us?????? pic.twitter.com/ucgwxychzx
— Bravobabe (@debbravobabe) November 8, 2018
I’d actually like to see @Acosta‘s reaction to the notion he was “set up” by Trump.
— Johnny Flyover (@john1gun) November 8, 2018
Typical dem response, it was someone else, it was a set up.
This guy needed to go months if not years ago. He’s rude, pushy and completely disrespectful to everyone, not just our President or the admin. He is constantly causing trouble with his big mouth and ridiculous behavior.
— Robin Nees❌ (@RobinNees) November 8, 2018
Acosta is responsible for himself. His unprofessional self.
— carolyn pikula (@cspik) November 8, 2018
Yes. Democrat operatives with microphones should be allowed to make unlimited speeches at press conferences, talk over the President and other journalists and basically act however they want. Which they all did with Obama, right?
— Victor Erimita (@erimita_victor) November 8, 2018