The president’s interminable feud with CNN reporter Jim Acosta reached a tipping point on Monday at the conclusion of a press appearance between Donald Trump and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy.
When Acosta began his usual attempts to ask the president important questions about the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign team and agents of the Russian Federation, a White House staffer waiting in the wings quickly moved in to intercept, shouting him down and verbally kicking him out of the scrum of reporters while Trump and the Italian Prime Minister sat and watched in uncomfortable silence.
— Evan Rosenfeld (@Evan_Rosenfeld) July 30, 2018
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On the heels of the White House’s decision to punish CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins for asking “inappropriate” questions by banning her from attending a press briefing, it was revealed that President Trump had “repeatedly” asked his aides if he could outright ban certain reporters, like Acosta, from the press pool entirely.
Yesterday, Trump embarked on a wild Twitter attack against the media in which he blamed them for inciting violence and criticism against themselves for their “unpatriotic” coverage of his scandals and policy decisions, just hours after the publisher of the New York Times had warned him about the dangers of his feud with the press and the threat it poses to our democracy.
Trump is well-known for his inability to deal with “tough” questions and the irrational personal offense that he takes at the slightest hint of criticism, but today’s events represent a disturbing escalation in his efforts to police the behavior of the White House press pool and do not bode well for the future.