NEW YORK (CBS/AP) — President-elect Donald Trump got into a heated exchange with a CNN reporter during his first press conference since the election.
CNN’s Jim Acosta attempted to ask Trump a question Monday after the news organization published a controversial Russian intelligence report Tuesday.
“Mr. president-elect, since you are attacking our news organization … can you give us a chance to ask a question, sir?” Acosta asked.
Trump tried to move on to another question, but Acosta kept asking.
At one point Trump told Acosta not to “be rude,” and referred to CNN as “fake news.”
“Your organization is terrible,” Trump said. “I’m not gonna give you a question. You are fake news.”
“Mr. president-elect, that’s not appropriate,” Acosta said to Trump.
Before the back-and-forth with the CNN reporter, Trump referred to BuzzFeed as a “failing pile of garbage” after the news organization published the unverified Russian intelligence dossier.
“I think it was disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake out, I think it’s a disgrace and I say that. And that’s something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do and I think it’s a disgrace. That information that was false and fake and never happened got released to the public as far as BuzzFeed, which is a failing pile of garbage writing it, I think they’re gonna suffer the consequences. They already are,” Trump said.
CNN’s Jake Tapper commented on the exchange following the press conference.
“When Mr. Trump went after our own Jim Acosta, saying he’s fake news and he isn’t gonna call for him, what I suspect we’re seeing here is an attempt to discredit legitimate, responsible attempts to report on this administration with irresponsible journalism that hurts us all and the media going forward should keep that in mind,” Tapper said.
He continued, “It’s irresponsible to put uncorroborated information on the internet. I can understand why President-elect Trump would be upset about that, I’d be upset about it too. It’s why we didn’t publish and why we did not detail any specifics from it, because it was uncorroborated and that’s not what we do.”
Acosta said that he was informed that Trump was not going to call on CNN during the press conference.
“At the beginning of that news conference Donald Trump indicated he was not going to call on me or call on CNN. He sort of pointed at me at one point and sort of waved his hand as if (to say), ‘You’re not going to get a question.’ And then as the news conference went on, he was attacking this news organization repeatedly and I felt it was only fair that if our news organization was going to be attacked that we get a chance to ask a follow-up question about what Donald Trump was talking about,” Trump said. “Fortunately, my colleague, Cecilia Vega over at ABC, asked a question that I was going to ask, which is, did Donald Trump have any contacts who were in contact with the Russians in the context of this campaign? She actually did not get an answer on that question, but as he was going to the elevators we all again were asking him to answer that question and he said no, that nobody associated with him or his campaign was in contact with the Russians during the context of the campaign.”
He continued, “I should also tell you at one point during this news conference in full disclosure so everybody knows what’s going on and what happened in that room, after I asked him and I guess demanded that we have a question, Sean Spicer, the incoming press secretary, did say to me that if I were to do that again I was going to be thrown out of the press conference.”
A U.S. official told The Associated Press Tuesday night that intelligence officials had informed Trump last week about an unsubstantiated report that Russia had obtained compromising personal and financial information about him. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not allowed to publicly discuss the matter.
Trump and President Barack Obama were briefed on the intelligence community’s findings last week, the official said.
The dossier contains unproven information about close coordination between Trump’s inner circle and Russians about hacking into Democratic accounts as well as unproven claims about unusual sexual activities by Trump among other suggestions attributed to anonymous sources. The Associated Press has not authenticated any of the claims.
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