On Thursday, President Trump spoke to reporters who were asking him about Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani who claims Trump was aware of efforts to get information about rival presidential candidates. In the process, CNN’s Jim Acosta, as per his usual style, kept interrupting Trump, at which point Trump looked at him and shut him down, saying sternly, “Quiet.”
Acosta asked, “What is your response to what Parnas who says that your efforts in Ukraine, that you just wanted Joe Biden out? What’s your response?”
Trump responded, “Well, I don’t know him; I don’t know Parnas other than I guess they had pictures taken, which I do with thousands of people, including people today that I didn’t meet. Just met him. I don’t know him at all; don’t know what he’s about; don’t know where he comes from; know nothing about him. I can only tell you that this thing is a big hoax; it’s a big hoax; this is the current hoax. We’ve gone through the Russian witch hunt; we’ve gone through a lot of ’em from probably before I came down the escalator, but certainly since I came down the escalator you take a look at what’s happened.”
Acosta started to interrupt, but Trump continued, “Doesn’t matter what he says; he’s probably trying to make a deal for himself.” Acosta barged in again, but Trump went on, “I don’t even know who this man is other than I guess he attended fundraisers so I take a picture with him. I’m in a room; I take pictures with people. I take pictures with thousands and thousands of people all the time. Thousands during the course of the year, and oftentimes I’ll be taking a picture with someone I’ll say, ‘I wonder what newspaper that one’s going to appear in.” No, I don’t know him; perhaps he’s a fine man, perhaps he’s not; I know nothing about him.
Acosta barged in again with more questions, prompting Trump to say, “I don’t believe I’ve ever spoken to him.”
A little later, Trump stated, “But I don’t know him; I never had a conversation with him that I remember with him —” Acosta then started to speak over Trump again.
Trump, at first ignoring him, continued, “You certainly, you just have to take a look at the polls —“ then looked directly at Acosta and said sternly, “Quiet.” He went on, “You just have to take a look at the pictures; you just have to take a look at the polls; you see, I don’t need anybody’s help. We’re doing phenomenally well; the economy is the best it’s ever been.”
The Daily Wire reported in early November, “CNN’s Jim Acosta claimed on Friday that he has gotten phone calls from President Donald Trump’s aides who secretly tell him that the president believes that he is ‘very professional,’ and that the president’s public attacks on Acosta was just part of ‘an act’ that the president does.”
Acosta appeared on the Canadian news show, “The Agenda with Steve Paikin,” where he claimed, “After the press conference was over, I got a call from one of his top aides, Hope Hicks, and she said to me on the phone, ‘Jim, I just want you to know the president thought you were very professional today and said Jim gets it.’ I thought to myself, wait a minute, the president just referred to me as very fake news five minutes ago and now he’s saying I’m professional and I get it? I don’t know what’s going on here, am I in the twilight zone?'”
— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) January 16, 2020