'You are fake news!': Trump, reporter clash at press conference
During his first official press conference since late July, Donald Trump clashed with CNN's Jim Acosta over reporting on unsubstantiated reports that Russia had compromising information on the U.S. president-elect.
Trump ignored Acosta’s repeated attempts to ask a question during the heated exchange in New York on Wednesday morning. The CNN reporter demanded that the president-elect answer his question, after Trump attacked his news organization during the press conference. Trump replied that CNN was “terrible,” repeatedly telling him to be quiet.
As the shouting match escalated, Trump eventually snapped and said, “No, I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news!”
The exchange came the day after CNN and several other news outlets reported that U.S. intelligence officials had briefed Trump and President Barack Obama on unsubstantiated claims that Moscow had compromising financial and personal information about the president-elect, including scandalous allegations of a sexual nature.
Trump vehemently refuted the reports calling them “fake news” and a “political witch hunt” in a series of tweets before his incoming press secretary, Sean Spicer, told reporters at the press conference on Wednesday, that the claims are “outrageous” and “irresponsible.“
The president-elect also slammed Buzzfeed News earlier in the press conference for publishing the unsubstantiated documents in their entirety. Trump called Buzzfeed News a “failing pile of garbage” and suggested the website would suffer the consequences of reporting on the material.
CNN released a statement addressing the altercation between the president-elect and Acosta. The news organization attempted to distinguish its coverage of the reports from Buzzfeed News’ decision to publish the contents of the document.
Statement from CNN: pic.twitter.com/WttyOCxQxp— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) January 11, 2017
Acosta tweeted during the press conference that his question, about whether any Trump associates contacted Russians, was actually answered when ABC’s Cecilia Vega posed it on his behalf.
Fortunately ABC's Cecilia Vega asked my question about whether any Trump associates contacted Russians. Trump said no.— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 11, 2017