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CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta railed against President Donald Trump and his administration on Wednesday, as several media outlets and the White House engaged in a proverbial war of words earlier this week.
“The president of the United States is also a purveyor of fake news,” Acosta said on CNN. “He is the founding father of birtherism.”
Acosta, who is no stranger to heated spats with the Trump White House, argued that Trump had his “own affinity for peddling fake news.” As he spoke, a CNN chyron displayed the phrase, “PRESIDENTIAL FAKE NEWS,” while Acosta listed a series of debunked news stories he said were spread by Trump and his staff.
“[Trump] came out right after his inauguration and said his inauguration crowds were bigger than President Obama’s, when they weren’t,” said Acosta. “We had photographic evidence from the National Parks Service to prove that point.”
After several contentious weeks with the press, the White House’s recent decision to prohibit video feeds of its briefings was widely torched by the press, including CNN, which responded by sending its own Supreme Court sketch artist to illustrate a briefing.
Acosta hypothesized the reason behind Trump and his administration’s tendency to avoid the media at large.
“This is the reason why the president has only held one news conference — one full news conference — since coming into office, that one in February,” Acosta said. “It’s because if he holds a news conference, we’re going to ask all of these questions.
“He just is not going to have answers for any of that and that is why he’s been avoiding these types of questions.”