Trump Bars CNN’s Jim Acosta From The White House

Coming the day after Mr. Trump’s party suffered significant losses in Tuesday’s midterm elections, the action sent a signal to other journalists that the president was willing to do what has almost never been done by his predecessors in modern times: blacklist a mainstream journalist from coverage at the White House.

Late Wednesday, CNN denounced the decision. “It was done in retaliation for his challenging questions at today’s press conference,” the network said in a statement. “In an explanation, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders lied. She provided fraudulent accusations and cited an incident that never happened. This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy, and the country deserves better.”

A review of the video from the news conference did not suggest that Mr. Acosta put his hands on the woman, and a reporter who was present said that the White House account was not true.

“I was seated next to @Acosta at today’s press conference and did not witness him ‘placing his hands’ on the young intern, as the White House alleges,” Jeff Mason, a White House correspondent for Reuters, wrote on Twitter. “He held on to the microphone as she reached for it.”

Other news organizations expressed concern that the decision would set a precedent.

“The president should not pick and choose who covers him, and he should certainly not force out a representative of one of the country’s leading news organizations, one that tens of millions of Americans depend on for their news,” said Elisabeth Bumiller, the Washington bureau chief for The New York Times.

Olivier Knox, the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, urged the White House to reverse its decision.

“The White House Correspondents’ Association strongly objects to the Trump administration’s decision to use U.S. Secret Service security credentials as a tool to punish a reporter with whom it has a difficult relationship,” he said in a statement. “Revoking access to the White House complex is a reaction out of line to the purported offense and is unacceptable.”

The American Civil Liberties Union weighed in, as well. “It is unacceptable and un-American for the president to expel a reporter for doing his job aggressively,” the organization said in a statement. “The White House should reverse this decision immediately.”

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