US president Trump has never been one to shy away from controversy. Following the loss of the house to the democrats (republicans still have the majority in the senate and even picked up an additional 2 seats) Trump seems to be pursuing his agenda with even greater pressure than before if judging by his actions just one day after the election.
Trump fired his attorney general Jeff Sessions reportedly due to Sessions refusing to interfere with the ongoing investigation into his alleged corruption and collusion with Russia. This is a potential major blow to the probe led by investigating attorney Robert Mueller.
This move allows Trump the opportunity to find someone who will take steps to shut down Mueller’s efforts. Session’s temporary replacement (Matthew Whitaker) has publicly said there is no need to fire Mueller to halt the investigation which can be stopped by reducing the investigations budget until it is starved of resources. Such a move would allow Trump to manipulate the process in order to protect himself from potential damning criminal findings from the special counsel investigation.
The Trump administration has also revoked the credentials indefinitely of a CNN’s chief white house correspondent Jim Acosta after a rather contentious exchange between the two at a white house press event. Acosta asked the president a question about a controversial campaign ad that has been labeled as racist by CNN and was subsequently taken down by Facebook and major networks such as NBC and even FOX news. He then posed several follow-up questions and refused to hand-over the microphone when someone who is said to have been an intern by the white house attempted to take the mike from him before he could finish asking the question. Later the white house claimed that his press credentials had been revoked due to the way he treated the white house aide and because he put his hands on her. Acosta denies that he put his hands on anyone. The clip of the exchange is below.
“Honestly, I think you should let me run the country and you run CNN,” Trump told Acosta in the heated exchange.
He later added,” CNN should be ashamed of themselves having you working for them. The president went on to say, “You are a rude terrible person you shouldn’t be working for CNN.”
CNN has come out in support of Acosta, and Acosta speaking with CNN’s Anderson Cooper has cited the support and encouragement he has received, stating that” I believe this is a test for all of us and I do believe that they are trying to shut us down to some extent.”
CNN released a statement in response to the revoking of Acosta’s credentials making strong accusations against Trump’s Press Secretary: “In an explanation Press Secretary Sarah Sander’s lied.” The news organization went on to state, “She provided fraudulent accusations and cited an incident that never happened. This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better.”
According to a Fox news report, Trump’s press secretary has been accused by CNN and the New York times of releasing a doctored video via twitter in an attempt to put Acosta in a bad light by editing and speeding up the video. Those who released the video claim only zoom was added to show where his hand touched the intern. While Fox news could not verify if the video was indeed doctored, according to Fox, it appears to show Acosta karate chopping away the young woman’s hand as she reached for the microphone. In the unedited version Acosta is heard saying “pardon me ma’am” after she attempted to pull the mike from him a portion which was removed in the version Sanders is circulating.
The twitter post containing the allegedly doctored video
"He never once touched her."
That is a complete lie. He clearly did.
Is whatever you're paid by CNN really worth making a total fool out of yourself for the world to see? pic.twitter.com/vgDynDQWJf
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) November 8, 2018
This is not the first time a journalist (or entire news organizations) have been banned from the white house following an exchange or disagreement with president Trump or his administration.