White House bans CNN reporter Jim Acosta after Trump row

U.S. President Donald Trump gets into a heated exchange with CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta as NBC correspondent Peter Alexander looks on during a post-election press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington DC on Nove

A White House staff member reaches for the microphone held by CNN's Jim Acosta as he questions President Donald Trump during a news conference, in a combination of photos at the White House in Washingon, Nov. 7, 2018.

A video distributed by the Trump administration to support its argument for banning CNN reporter Jim Acosta from the White House appears to have been doctored to make Acosta look more aggressive than he was during an exchange with a White House intern, an independent expert said Thursday.

He repeated that Acosta was a "very rude person", adding, "the way you treat Sarah Huckabee is terrible", referring to his White House press secretary. It also remains to be seen whether White House reporters will walk out, or show solidarity with Acosta and CNN in other ways.

Acosta had been questioning Trump about his claim that a caravan of migrants posed a threat to the USA when the president turned on the journalist. "Here we go", Trump said to Acosta.

"As a result of today's incident", Sanders added, "the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice". "This conduct is absolutely unacceptable", she said.

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Acosta responded nearly immediately to Sanders' statement on Twitter, calling it "a lie".

The incident comes amid an atmosphere of heightened hostility toward the media in the U.S. In late October, CNN was targeted with explosive devices sent through the mail. A free press is vital to democracy, and we stand behind Jim Acosta and his fellow journalists everywhere. It called on the White House to reverse a "weak and misguided action".

The White House has suspended the credentials of a CNN journalist hours after a testy exchange with US President Donald Trump.

The difference is, his fellow journalists everywhere didn't do a karate chop on a White House intern's arm as she tried to do her job. "We stand by our statement", Sanders said in a statement. "We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video". Trump moved away from his podium and then pointed his finger at Acosta and said, "CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them".

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"Just sit down", Trump said. Nor did it say whether the urging by Diamond and Silk played a role in the decision to punish Acosta. "That is not an invasion".

At that point, the president snapped. In his thread, he's retracted the claim and said that Sanders merely shared InfoWars' doctored version. During the intern's final attempt, as she tried to pull the microphone away, Acosta's hand appeared to briefly brush her arm.

Waving his finger, Mr Trump berated him. "I think I handled myself professionally". He called reporters rude, hostile, unfair. "You run CNN and if you did it well, your ratings would be much better".

Eventually NBC reporter Peter Alexander took the microphone and defended his fellow reporter, despite him being from a separate network, calling him a "diligent reporter" - which only proved to anger Trump more.

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