We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: President Trump really can’t stand CNN.
He hammers them whenever he can, often labeling the liberal network “fake news” (and sometimes “really fake news”). But the tiff grew bigger on Saturday when the White House canceled a planned interview on CNN with national security adviser John Bolton.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said a CNN reporter “disrespected” Trump while the president was overseas.
At an international press conference on Friday, Trump again bashed CNN during a press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May. “Since you attacked CNN can I ask you a question?” petulant CNN correspondent Jim Acosta said, interrupting the presser.
Trump refused. “CNN is fake news. I don’t take questions from CNN,” Trump said. “Let’s go to a real network,” he said, calling on John Roberts of Fox News.
“Well, we’re a real network too, sir,” Acosta whined.
CNN’s “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper on Saturday got in on the whinefest, writing on Twitter that the White House had canceled the interview with Bolton, who he said “remains fully prepared to do the interview.”
“Update: @AmbJohnBolton had been locked in for tomorrow’s @CNNSOTU. Then the president attacked CNN during his UK presser, and our WH correspondent tried to ask a question. We are told Amb. Bolton remains fully prepared to do the interview but the White House has canceled it.”
But Sanders corrected the record.
“Actually a @CNN reporter disrespected @POTUS & PM May during their press conf. Instead of rewarding bad behavior, we decided to reprioritize the TV appearances for administration officials,” Sanders replied to Tapper’s tweet.
But Trump wasn’t done.
Acosta came back with a lame reply.
Other liberal reporters came to Acosta’s defense.
“Come on. All Acosta did was try to ask a question. Something that has taken place in previous administrations for, well, forever,” wrote The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman.
But as someone who covered the White House for 12 years, I can tell you that that’s not the case. Yes, reporters do shout questions at the president in informal settings — as Acosta later did as Trump was leaving — but in formal press conferences, the president calls on specific reporters. It was that way through Barack Obama’s term in office, through George W. Bush’s term, through Bill Clinton’s.
Now, though, reporters are intent on making themselves the story. And while that has also worked in the past (think NBC’s David Gregory), it sure isn’t working for Crybaby Acosta.