President Donald Trump blustered and sparred with reporters Wednesday, calling one a “rude, terrible person” and demanding another “sit down” and be quiet in his first news conference since Democrats reclaimed the House in the midterms.
When CNN’s Jim Acosta attempted to ask why Trump had described a group of migrants and asylum seekers as an “invasion,” in the run-up to the elections, Trump became visibly upset.
“That’s enough! That’s enough! That’s enough!” Trump said, as Acosta attempted to ask the president another question about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“That’s enough,” Trump said. “Put down the mic.”
Trump went on to insult Acosta at length, calling him “rude” several times and stepping away from the podium at one point in apparent anger.
“CNN should be ashamed of itself, having you working for them,” Trump told Acosta. “You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN.”
During his rebuke of Acosta, Trump also called CNN the enemy of the people.
"When you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people,” Trump said.
Trump then called on NBC’s Peter Alexander, who attempted to defend Acosta.
“In Jim’s defense, I’ve traveled with him and watch him, he’s a diligent reporter who busts his butt,” Alexander said, before Trump interrupted.
“Well, I’m not a big fan of yours either, to be honest with you,” Trump said back.
CNN issued a statement following Trump’s attacks, calling them “un-American.”
“They are not only dangerous, they are disturbingly un-American,” the statement said.
Trump then went after two more reporters. April Ryan, one of the few black reporters in the White House press pool, attempted to ask Trump a question. He immediately dismissed her.
“Sit down,” Trump said to Ryan. “I didn’t call on you.”
Yamiche Alcindor, another black woman who is a correspondent for PBS News Hour, asked the president if he believes his rhetoric has emboldened white nationalists. Trump called Alcindor racist.
“That’s such a racist question,” Trump said. “Let me tell you: That’s a racist question.”
Alcindor said later on Twitter that she was simply asking the president questions the public wanted to know.
Cover image: US President Donald Trump (R) gets into a heated exchange with CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (C) as NBC correspondent Peter Alexander (L) looks on during a post-election press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on November 7, 2018. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP /Getty Images)