Sarah Sanders Facing Major Backlash After Falsely Accusing Jim Acosta Of Assault
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday faced swift backlash after the White House announced its suspension of CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials following an extended verbal confrontation between Acosta and Trump earlier that afternoon.
In a statement Wednesday night, Huckabee Sanders claimed Acosta “placed his hands on” a young female White House intern who attempted to take a microphone from him.
“We will … 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,” said Sanders. “As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice.”
However, video captured during the press conference shows a different story. The staffer aggressively tried to take the microphone from Acosta, grabbing his hand, twice, attempting to wrestle a mic from him.
Twitter users, including many journalists, were quick to challenge Sanders’ claim that Acosta had touched the intern, slamming the White House’s decision to yank the reporter’s press credentials.
Some commenters praised the CNN journalist for showing “tremendous restraint,” and suggested he should file charges with the Capitol Police for assault.
Acosta also took to Twitter to call Sanders’ assertion that he put his hands on the intern, “a lie.”
This is a lie. https://t.co/FastFfWych
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) November 8, 2018
This is not what happened. You could have banned him simply for refusing to abide by any of the normal rules of the press room. No need to state something happened that didn’t. https://t.co/p9hgtVE8eZ
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) November 8, 2018
A) there's video showing that's not what happened B) Trump has been accused of sexual assault/harassment by over a dozen women so please spare us the false outrage https://t.co/ke6pWBd0Qv
— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) November 8, 2018
News the White House pulled Jim @Acosta’s credentials is not an attack on one journalist but all of the press. There should be complete solidarity. This is a moment for any Republican who says they believe in the Constitution to stand up.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) November 8, 2018
I sat next to Acosta at the press conference today. The White House intern came to take the microphone to the next reporter called on for a question, and Acosta, right or wrong, refused to give it to her when she reached out to grab it. https://t.co/ZHi7sbEKUf
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) November 8, 2018
I was seated next to @Acosta at today’s press conference and did not witness him “placing his hands” on the young intern, as the White House alleges. He held on to the microphone as she reached for it. The @Reuters pictures below depict what happened accurately. pic.twitter.com/nO68Hf4eQM
— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) November 8, 2018
The free press has been around for centuries. What changed in the last 2 years was the emergence of a leader openly hostile to a free press.
If you're blaming Acosta, you're part of this shameful attack on a freedom that belongs not to the press itself, but to us as a people. https://t.co/h6VUebYKNT
— David Jolly (@DavidJollyFL) November 8, 2018
Suspending Jim Acosta's press pass over this BS is a blatant abuse of presidential power.
— Political Dig (@PoliticalDig) November 8, 2018
CNN said in a statement that Acosta “has our full support” and backed up Acosta’s statement that Sanders “lied” in her “fraudulent” explanation by citing an incident “that never happened.”
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) November 8, 2018
What is your response to the White House?