Democratic Representative Gerry Connelly declared on Thursday that CNN’s Jim Acosta was “deliberately set up” by President Trump in a “staged” event involving an intern on Wednesday that resulted in the CNN correspondent getting his access suspended by the White House.
Connelly’s remarks were detailed to TMZ while outside of Congress this Thursday.
“Do you think he’s going to have a better relationship with all these reporters?” Connelly was questioned.
“I would not argue that he’s going 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 responded. “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.”
“When you say staged, do you think he came in to distract?” TMZ followed up.
“I believe they had an intern deliberately set up Jim Acosta. Yeah, I think that was pretty clear,” Connelly contested.
In a statement Wednesday evening, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had suggested that Acosta had “placed his hands on” a young female White House intern who tried to snatch a microphone away from him earlier in the day.
“We will … never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern. This conduct is absolutely unacceptable,” said Sanders. “As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice.”
Acosta stormed to Twitter to label Sanders’s accusation that he placed his hands on the intern “a lie.”
This is a lie. https://t.co/FastFfWych
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) November 8, 2018
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