White House pass of CNN journalist suspended for ‘placing his hands on intern’

New York: The White House has said that it has suspended the press pass of CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta, “until further notice”.

The suspension comes after a heated confrontation on Wednesday between Acosta and President Donald Trump during a news conference.

They began sparring after Acosta asked Trump about the caravan of migrants heading from Latin America to the southern US border. As Acosta tried to follow up with another question, Trump said, “That’s enough!” and a White House aide tried to grab the microphone from Acosta, which he prevented.

Videos from the incident show that as the intern tried to grab the mic, Acosta said, “pardon me, ma’am” and continued to try to ask his question, while his hand appeared to brush the intern’s arm during the exchange.

Sarah Sanders calls it “absolutely unacceptable”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has released a statement accusing Acosta of “placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern,” calling it “absolutely unacceptable.”

“Contrary to CNN’s assertions there is no greater demonstration of the President’s support for a free press than the event he held today. Only they would attack the President for not supporting a free press in the midst of him taking 68 questions from 35 different reporters over the course of 1.5 hours including several from the reporter in question. The fact that CNN is proud of the way their employee behaved is not only disgusting, it‘s an example of their outrageous disregard for everyone, including young women, who work in this Administration,” tweeted Sarah Sanders.

Jim Acosta defends self

Defending himself, chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, the CNN said the decision is “a threat to democracy”, and tweeted that Sarah Sanders’ accusation is a lie.

Acosta said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” that he was “trying to hang onto the microphone” when he was approached by the intern, who tried to take it away as he attempted to ask a question to Trump during a White House press conference.

President Trump’s relationship with the media worsened further on Wednesday at the media conference where he called some reporters rude and accused a PBS reporter of posing a racist question when she asked him about white nationalists.

“It’s such a hostile media,” Trump said during his post-midterms news conference at the White House, after ordering reporter April Ryan of the American Urban Radio Networks to sit down when she tried to ask him a question.

The president complained that the media did not cover the humming economy and was responsible for much of the country’s divided politics. He said that “I can do something fantastic, and they make it look not good.”

(With inputs from Associated Press)