President Donald Trump torched Jim Acosta during a press conference in India after the CNN reporter effectively called him a liar.
Acosta’s grandstanding disguised as a question about election meddling followed the president’s response to reports of US intelligence assessments on Russia attempting to interfere in the 2020 presidential election. He asked Trump about not accepting “foreign assistance” and about Joe Maguire’s departure as Acting Director of National Intelligence.
“Just wanted to follow up on my colleague’s question about Russian interference,” Acosta began when the president called on him during the news conference in New Delhi.
“Can you pledge to the American people that you will not accept any foreign assistance in the upcoming election?” he asked.
“And on this idea of a purge in your administration, there was recently the departure of your acting DNI Joseph Maguire,” Acosta continued. “You replaced him with your ambassador to Germany [Richard Grenell.] Some of your critics have pointed out that Ambassador Grenell has no intelligence experience. How can you justify to the American people having an acting DNI with no intelligence experience?”
“First of all, I want no help from any country. And I haven’t been given help from any country,” Trump replied.
“And if you see what CNN, your wonderful network, said, I guess they apologized in a way for — didn’t they apologize for the fact that they said certain things that weren’t true? Tell me, what was their apology yesterday? What did they say?” he confronted Acosta.
“Mr. President, I think our record on delivering the truth is a lot better than yours sometimes, if you don’t mind me saying,” the CNN correspondent declared.
“Let me tell you about your record, your record is so bad you ought to be ashamed of yourself,” Trump shot back.
“I’m not ashamed of anything and our organization is not ashamed,” Acosta smugly replied.
“You have the worst record in the history of broadcasting,” the president responded.
“As far as Maguire is concerned, he is a terrific guy, but you know on March 11th his time ended anyway,” Trump said, responding to Acosta’s other question. “So his time came up, so we would have had to, by statute, we would have had to change him.”
“Will your new DNI have experience in the intelligence field?” Acosta continued to press his narrative.
“Yes. In fact, we are talking to five different people right now. I think all people that you know, all people that you respect, and I will make a decision probably over the next week to two weeks. We have some very good people.”
Unable to leave it at that, Acosta continued to take up the allotted time with his showboating questions, asking the president if Maguire was “forced out because he wasn’t sufficiently loyal to you.”
“No, not at all. Not at all,” Trump replied. “He was pushed out because frankly — he wasn’t pushed out, he would have had to get out. On March 11th he would have had to leave. But we are going to be making a decision on DNI very shortly.”
Twitter users slammed Acosta for his disrespect.
“He came all the way around the world to make a jerk out of himself,” Breitbart’s Joel Pollak tweeted.
Jim @Acosta calling the president a liar to his face in front of a foreign audience on the basis of nothing is a bad look. He came all the way around the world to make a jerk out of himself
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) February 25, 2020
Your behavior today in India was disgusting. Yes your network had to apologize. You are a petty, shallow partisan cog who’s degrading your profession, embarrassing us around the world and proving CNN cannot be trusted.
— CWR (@carriealmom) February 25, 2020
Trump didn’t need to call on Acosta. Gave him another chance to be professional. Acosta failed. Ghost him.
— Lesley Willard (@WillardLesley) February 25, 2020
— michelle (@leemichelle009) February 25, 2020
Finally… Acosta admitted that his network lies…
— Beastly Graham (@Sota_Pop73) February 25, 2020
The way Jim Acosta talks to the president is petty and unprofessional. Remember if anyone so much as questioned Obama’s actions they were quickly called racist. How dare you disrespect Obama! Meanwhile they say the most disgusting things, and are totally antagonistic to Trump pic.twitter.com/Mv9BGwXKSG
— someguy (@Idunnosomeguy) February 25, 2020
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