On Monday, CNN’s Jim Acosta accused President Donald Trump of peddling racial agitation via Twitter.
The president’s denunciation of NFL players’ kneeling during pre-game recitations of the national anthem, said Acosta, was racially targeted.
Acosta was teed up by CNN colleague Pamela Brown, asking about a “culture war” being waged by the president. Partial transcript below (emphases added).
BROWN: Jim, we saw Sarah Sanders sort of cut you off there when you were trying to ask her a follow-up question, on the heels of asking whether the president is trying to wage a culture war, and she claims that, “No, he’s not.”
ACOSTA: Hi, Pam. That’s right. What we heard from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is that this is not about race, and you heard repeatedly during this briefing today the White House trying to say, “No, this is a president who just wants to honor the American flag; wants to see professional athletes do the same thing at sporting events.”
But I do think, and that’s why I asked the question there at the very end of the briefing, I wasn’t given a follow-up question like some of my other colleagues in the room, but why is it that the president was seeming to go after African American athletes over the weekend? He went after Colin Kaepernick at that rally in Alabama, Friday night; went after Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, saying he was no longer invited to the White House for their championship celebration, when at the same time, and I tried to follow up with this question, Tom Brady did not make it here to the White House when the New England Patriots made it. There were no angry tweets from the president directed at Tom Brady or other athletes, and so I think it does raise this question. Especially when you have the president earlier this morning tweeting about his respect for and how gratitude towards NASCAR fans and the way they honor the flag at their events.
I think Pam, you know, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that it is a bit of a dog whistle that is being played out there.
Watch the video below.
For weeks, Acosta pinned a tweet describing his and CNN's broader operations as "real news" to his Twitter profile.
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