CNN’s chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta on Sunday said he thinks President Trump is “crazy like a fox” while discussing the president’s mental state.
“I tell folks, I’m not a psychiatrist,” Acosta said on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” “I can’t assess the president’s mental state, but I will tell you is my sense of it, covering him for a pretty long period of time now, is that he’s more crazy like a fox.”
“[Former White House chief strategist Steve] Bannon explains in an interview that I had with him, that what Trump tries to do is really control the narrative by saying sensational things that sound wild and nutty sometimes, and he does this because he knows it dominates the news cycle,” Acosta said. “That make it a priority for us in the news business to talk about him nonstop. And he loves that and he capitalizes [on] that.”
Acosta’s comments came hours after George Conway, the husband of White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway, said that Trump was “mentally unwell.”
“You’re mentally unwell. You engage in bizarre, irrational, self-defeating behavior which prompts criticism of you, which triggers more bizarre, irrational, self-defeating behavior,” Conway tweeted after Trump attacked CNN as “the enemy of the people” and accused the network of wanting “our country to fail.” “You would have bene fired from any other job by now.”
Conway later tweeted that it was “astonishing” that the press would not confront the “fact that we have a psychologically unwell and unfit president.”
In an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning,” Acosta noted that his job is not to just report what Trump and White House Spokesperson Sarah Sanders say, but to call them out for obvious lies.
“Now, there are two basic criticisms of you from some of your colleagues, and certainly from the White House, and one of them is that you grandstand, that you sometimes make the news rather than report on the news. Is that a valid criticism?” Reid asked.
“I know folks are going to say that. I look at it as I’m doing my job,” Acosta said. “I see this as a very serious, serious moment in our nation’s history. And I think, to some extent, we have been trying to figure out the best way to cover this president.”
As for how the president has treated him, Acosta said they have made his life hard –including the personal insults and attacks that have led to threats from the president’s supporters.
“The man who sent the pipe bombs to CNN and other Democratic targets in the fall of 2018, on his social media account, he was directing death threats at me,” Acosta explained. “Something along the lines of, ‘You’re next. You’re the enemy of America,’ and so on. And so, my sense of it is that what started off as an act for the president, calling us ‘fake news,’ calling us the ‘enemy of the people’ and so on, has gotten out of control. And they don’t know how to reel it back in.”
Acosta also says he misses the daily press briefings, saying it is a loss for the whole country.
“I think it is a big loss,” he elaborated, “because, I mean almost as important as what they say in the briefings in response to our questions is what they don’t say, and how they don’t want to answer the questions and avoid the questions. And so, I would love to see those briefings come back.”