CNN reporter Jim Acosta on Thursday left the White House briefing while press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was still speaking following an intense exchange with her.
Acosta said that the White House “has lost sight of” the fact that the press is not an enemy of the U.S.
“I’m tired of this,” an emotional Acosta said on CNN after the exchange. “It is not right, it is not fair, it is not just. It is un-American to come out here and call the press the ‘enemy of the people.'”
“Fellow Americans are not the enemy of fellow Americans,” he added after speaking on CNN for several minutes. “Forgive me for going on a rant, but I think that they’ve lost sight of that here at this White House.”
“I walked out of the end of that briefing because I am totally saddened by what just happened,” Acosta tweeted after leaving the briefing. “Sarah Sanders was repeatedly given a chance to say the press is not the enemy and she wouldn’t do it. Shameful.”
Just a sample of the sad scene we faced at the Trump rally in Tampa. I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt. We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy. pic.twitter.com/IhSRw5Ui3R
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 1, 2018
Acosta and Sanders traded barbs after the press secretary made her criticisms of the press personal to CNN’s chief White House correspondent.
“It’s ironic, Jim, that not only you and the media attack the president for his rhetoric when they frequently lower the level of conversation in this country,” Sanders said after Acosta pressed her to denounce President Trump’s frequent assertion that the press is the “enemy of the people.”