Sarah Sanders Shared A Video Of Jim Acosta That's Very Much In Dispute To Justify Banning Him
The Trump administration is unusual for many reasons, but one of the most troubling issues for many people is its tense — and sometimes outright nasty — relationship with the press. President Donald Trump's post-2018 midterms press conference is an excellent example of that, but the fallout from it has perhaps been even more consequential. On Wednesday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders shared a video of CNN's Jim Acosta from her official White House Press Secretary Twitter account, but many are now arguing the video had been edited deceptively. Despite this, Sanders appeared to be using it as proof of a questionable claim that the White House had put out following the press conference.
Bustle has reached out to the White House for comment.
The issue began when Trump verbally attacked CNN reporter Jim Acosta during the Wednesday press conference after Acosta asked several questions that the president took issue with about the migrant caravan and Russia investigation. As the president repeatedly tried to keep Acosta from speaking and Acosta continued his attempt to as a question, a female White House intern came up to Acosta to take his microphone. As you can see in CNN's video of the interaction between Acosta and the intern, he briefly — and apparently accidentally — brushed her arm, before apologizing for it.
The president's tirade directed at Acosta drew a lot of negative attention before the press conference was even over, but the White House's next move did not back down. Instead, the White House withdrew Acosta's White House press pass, as CNN detailed. On Twitter, Sanders shared the reasoning for that decision.
"President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration," Sanders wrote in the first of a series of tweets. "We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern."
"This conduct is absolutely unacceptable," she wrote in the second tweet, before going on to defend Trump's press conference as a "demonstration of the President’s support for a free press."
Acosta quickly responded to this justification on Twitter, retweeting Sanders' tweet and writing only, "This is a lie."
Roughly two hours after her first post and Acosta's response, Sanders posted a video that appears to show Acosta jerking the White House intern's arm down when she tries to take his microphone. As The Washington Post showed, though, the video of Acosta appears to have been edited to make his movement, and contact with the intern, look rougher.
"We stand by our decision to revoke this individual’s hard pass. We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video," Sanders wrote, along with the video.
The video appears to have come from the fringe right-wing conspiracy site InfoWars originally, as The Huffington Post noted. And despite a massive outcry against Sanders' decision to share the video — which, according to The Huffington Post, has even included calls for her resignation — the video remains on Sanders' Twitter feed for now, and the White House is still behind it. Acosta wasn't done defending himself, however.
"Don’t believe the lies coming from the WH. Believe in our freedoms," he wrote on Thursday morning. "Thank you all for your support. We won’t back down."