White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced Wednesday evening on Twitter the White House had indefinitely suspended the press credential of CNN reporter Jim Acosta, a frequent target of President Donald Trump's spleen toward the national media, hours after a heated exchange between the reporter and the president.
During the exchange, Acosta repeatedly attempted to question the president about his characterization of the Central American migrant caravan as an "invasion" of the United States.
"They're hundreds of miles away, though," he said. "They're hundreds and hundreds of miles away. That's not an invasion."
"You know what? I think you should," Trump started to say, pointing at Acosta. "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."
As Acosta attempted to ask another question, a White House staffer -- identified in Sanders' tweet as an intern -- reached out twice to take the microphone from his hand, withdrawing both times without touching it or Acosta. Switching to her other hand, she grabbed the microphone while he held on.
Video shows Acosta attempting to push her hand away and keep his grip on the microphone. His free, gesturing hand makes contact with her inner elbow, causing her to start slightly; she stops attempting to grab the microphone and sits down.
"Pardon me, ma'am, I’m--" he began.
"That's enough," Trump said.
Acosta recorded the moment that the Secret Service took his credential later that evening.
The US Secret Service just asked for my credential to enter the WH. As I told the officer, I don’t blame him. I know he’s just doing his job. (Sorry this video is not rightside up) pic.twitter.com/juQeuj3B9R
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) November 8, 2018
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the White House "will never ... tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern." She characterized Acosta holding onto the microphone as an example of CNN's "outrageous disregard for everyone, including young women, who work in this Administration."
President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern...
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) November 8, 2018
CNN's response was blunt:
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) November 8, 2018