One of President Trump’s chief critics in the press, CNN’s Jim Acosta, will be releasing a new book that makes a variety of juicy claims about the president’s conduct.
According to The Guardian, which published several excerpts of Acosta’s upcoming book, aptly titled “The Enemy of the People,” the CNN White House correspondent makes the claim that President Trump’s so-called war on the press began as an act that snowballed into a strategy.
After a confrontation in which Trump denounced Acosta as “fake news” and “very fake news,” White House aide Hope Hicks allegedly approached Acosta afterward to say the president thought he was “very professional today.”
“He said, ‘Jim gets it,’” Jim Acosta quotes Hope Hicks as saying in his book. “When he called us ‘fake news,’ it was, in his mind, an act.”
Throughout the book, Acosta quotes anonymous sources that supposedly spoke off-the-cuff in private about their opinions on President Trump
“They are often blunt in their assessment of their boss,” reports The Guardian of Acosta’s book. “A ‘senior White House official’ tells Acosta: ‘The president’s insane.’ A ‘former White House national security official’ says staffers were not sure the president had not been ‘compromised’ by Russia.”
Acosta goes on to allege in his book that President Trump decided to attack the mainstream media due to the spate of anonymous sources at CNN, NBC, The Washington Post, and The New York Times attacking his administration. He claims that since Republicans controlled Congress, the president needed an enemy to attack. Three unnamed sources Acosta quotes cited former White House aide Steve Bannon as the architect for the attack.
Of his own tumultuous relationship with President Trump, Jim Acosta admits that he sometimes reduces himself to “grandstanding” and “showboating,” claiming he “opts for the bait” when questioning Trump. In response to those who would accuse him of having a bias against President Trump, Acosta bluntly says, “Neutrality for the sake of neutrality doesn’t really serve us in the age of Trump.”
The White House correspondent has even been criticized by some of his own colleagues in the press pool for his often rude behavior at press conferences, which often involves filibustering the mic and attacking President Trump with ideological talking points. In November of last year, shortly after Acosta had his press pass taken away for another one of his grandstanding episodes, Republican strategist Arthur Schwartz said that some CNN reporters were quite infuriated with Acosta’s behavior.
“A few CNN reporters told me that they’re embarrassed by Acosta & CNN,” Schwartz said at the time. “A WH correspondent from a major network (not Fox) told me ‘This isn’t the Jim F*ing Acosta Show. We all hate him. He’s an a**hole and he actually is disrespectful to the president.'”
Just this week, Fox News quoted an anonymous CNN employee as saying Jim Acosta is notorious for constantly making the moment about him.
“Jim Acosta is, a lot of times, asking the right questions, but it doesn’t always need to be about him and his grandstanding,” said the employee. “Acosta is supposed to be a correspondent reporting the facts but you can’t tell the difference between him and a paid pundit.”