Appearing on CNN with host Brooke Baldwin on Monday before his nemesis, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, spoke with the media, CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta couldn’t resist taking another swipe at her, saying she doesn’t live in the “real world.” Acosta and Baldwin were discussing the White House’s reaction to the possibly temporary end to the government shutdown when he blustered, “It will be interesting to see whether or not Sarah Sanders and the White House team over here have truly come back to the real world when she steps out to the podium here in about 30 minutes from now.”
Acosta had plenty of vitriol dripping as he targeted President Trump and the White House during his appearance with Baldwin, which started with Baldwin taking her own veiled shot at Trump, never mentioning the Democrats’ intransigence while noting that the shutdown coast the U.S. economy $11 billion. She stated:
I’m Brooke Baldwin. And in just about half an hour from now, the White House Press Secretary will be answering questions from the media, for the first time in more than five weeks. It comes as President Trump told The Wall Street Journal that there’s less than a 50-50 chance that new negotiations over border wall funding will succeed. If they fail, that could lead to either another Government shutdown in about 18 days’ time or to the President declaring a national emergency to get the money to build his border wall. Let’s go live to our chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, who will, of course, be in that briefing room, momentarily. So Jim, it’s still stunning to me to see this new report from the CBO that the Government shutdown has so far cost the U.S. economy $11 billion.
Acosta took the hint:
That’s right, Brooke. And that’s a dollar figure that’s double what the President was asking for for his border wall down on the border with Mexico. Now some of that will be recouped, according to the CBO, once these federal workers start receiving their back pay, but at the end of the day, there is going to be a big hit to this economy and I suspect that Sarah Sanders will be asked about that when she has this briefing in about 30 minutes from now. That’s the latest time estimate as to when this is going to get started. And as you were just saying a few moments ago, it has been a long time since we’ve had a White House briefing over here in the briefing room. It’s been 41 days. Since December 18th. That was the last time Sarah Sanders had a briefing. That is such a long period of time that we had a Government shutdown, the longest Government shutdown in U.S. history in the middle of that time frame.
And so there’s going to be a lot of questions asked. It will be interesting to see just how long Sarah Sanders devotes to this briefing. Some of the later briefings we saw at the end of 2018 were running on average in the ballpark of 20 or 25 minutes. And so, that may go pretty quickly when we see her come to the podium here in about half an hour from now. But obviously the Government shutdown is going to be top of mind in that briefing room. Just 18 days to go before the next deadline for a lapse in Government funding and we could be back where we started all over again. And the President, as you said, in that interview with The Wall Street Journal, that he’s only putting the odds of preventing this shutdown or another standoff with Democrats at less than 50-50. Those are not good odds. And it comes just at the very beginning of this negotiation, this negotiating process with Democrats. And so that obviously is going to come up.
Acosta then segued to the indictment of Roger Stone, saying that President Trump was “trying to downplay the relationship” with Stone, “kind of an excuse the President has used” with regard to other targets of the Mueller investigation. Acosta said:
Brooke, I think the other thing that’s obviously going to come up is the indictment of Roger Stone, which sort of caused a fire storm last Friday with Roger Stone giving the Nixonian salute as he left the courthouse down in Florida. The President was trying to downplay the relationship over the weekend, saying, well, he wasn’t really near me or near us during the election as it got close to election time. That is something that the President, that’s kind of an excuse the President has used, or an explanation the President has used with respect to other people who have been indicted in the Russia investigation. He sort of said the same kind of thing about Paul Manafort and others who have been targeted in the Mueller probe. And so it will be interesting to see just how Sarah Sanders frames all of this. What we’ve noticed in recent days that she’s just trying to stay away from those questions about the Russia investigation all together.
Finally, Acosta predictably lavished praise on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her behavior during the shutdown, rhapsodizing, “somebody who you know, even conservative allies of the president agreed had really just sort of taught the President a lesson.” He said:
And one thing finally, Brooke, getting back to the shutdown, Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, really emerged at the end of that process late Friday, as somebody who you know, even conservative allies of the president agreed had really just sort of taught the President a lesson. And so, one of the things I’ll be listening to keenly is whether or not the White House will even admit that they did not come out ahead on this whole standoff over Government funding and the wall down on the border. They’ve been trying to insist over the last few days and the President did this over the weekend in one of his tweets, that this was not a concession on the part of the President. That is obviously kind of an assessment that is just not dealing with reality. And you and I we were talking about some of this on Friday when were watching the Rose Garden speech from the President. It will be interesting to see whether or not Sarah Sanders and the White House team over here have truly come back to the real world when she steps out to the podium here in about 30 minutes from now.”
Baldwin joined in to rip Sanders and the White House: “The upside down world of which you spoke on Friday. Shout out to ‘Stranger Things.’”