President Trump on Wednesday admonished CNN reporter Jim Acosta for “rude” behavior and ordered him to sit down during a heated exchange at the White House.
At a press conference, Mr. Acosta repeatedly asked the president about his tough stance against a U.S.-bound migrant caravan was “demonizing” immigrants. He then refused to give up the microphone.
“You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Acosta. “The way you treat Sarah Huckabee [Sanders] is horrible. And the way you treat other people is horrible. You shouldn’t treat people that way.”
Mr. Trump later turned his ire on NBC’s Peter Alexander, saying he’s “not a fan” of the reporter.
He also shushed April Ryan, a prominent black reporter for American Urban Radio Networks, who stood up without being called on and challenged Mr. Trump to explain his rhetorical tone.
CNN has been one of Mr. Trump’s biggest targets for complaints about fake news.
He and Mrs. Sanders, the White House press secretary, often clash with Mr. Acosta. But the press confrontation Wednesday was the hottest.
Mr. Acosta kept questioning the president about his midterm campaign ad that showed migrants scaling fences and barriers to illegal cross an international border on their way to America.
“They weren’t actors,” Mr. Trump said of the news footage in the ad. “It was true. Do you think they were actors? They didn’t come from Hollywood.”
Mr. Acosta insisted the migrant caravan was “not an invasion.”
Mr. Trump responded, “Honestly, I think you should let me run the country, you run CNN. And if you did it well your ratings would be much better.”
Mr. Acosta then refused to give up the microphone.
“Sit down,” ordered the president.
Mr. Acosta reluctantly surrendered the microphone to Mr. Alexander, who then offered a defense that his colleague is a “diligent” reporter.
“I’m not a big fan of yours either, to be honest with you,” Mr. Trump told the NBC reporter.
— Stephen Dinan contributed to this report