Trump And The Media: Wednesday's Press Conference Brings Heated Exchanges, Suspension

President Donald Trump reacts as reporters raise their hands to ask questions during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump reacts as reporters raise their hands to ask questions during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Just yesterday, President Trump gave a remarkable press conference in which he called a question from PBS News Hour reporter Yamiche Alcindor "racist" and went on to ban CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta from accessing the White House.

Alcindor asked President Trump about his rhetoric on the campaign trail prior to Tuesday's midterm elections:

Alcindor: "On the campaign trail, you called yourself a nationalist. Some people saw that as emboldening white nationalists. Now people are also saying…

President Trump: "I don't know why you'd say that. That's such a racist question."

Acosta, who has a history of heated exchanges with President Trump, also spoke to midterm messaging, asking a question about immigration. He challenged President Trump on his use of the word "invasion" to describe the migrant caravan moving from Central America toward the southern border of the U.S.

President Trump dismissed his characterization of the caravan as a "difference of opinion," adding, "I want them to come into the country, but they have to come in legally."

That's when Acosta interjected and attempted to ask another question, about indictments in the Russia investigation.

Trump shut down the question and went on to say, "I tell you what. CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN."


Margaret Talev, senior White House correspondent for Bloomberg News, and board member and past president of the White House Correspondents Association, weighed in on these events when she joined On Point Thursday.

On Yamiche Alcindor's exchange with President Trump

Talev: "So, obviously, it wasn't a racist question, it was a completely appropriate question. But the president used rhetoric and his bully pulpit to try to make a point. And that's within his right to do, even if as you're listening you're kind of scratching you head going, 'What?' She held her own in the exchange and moved on to asking him questions of substance, and she addressed this on Twitter and basically said, you know, 'We're professionals and it's my job to ask questions and I kept asking questions.' "

On Jim Acosta's exchange with President Trump

Talev: "So two things happened. One is that the White House put out a statement that was misleading in nature and suggested that Jim was an aggressor in some sort of inappropriate way. And, in fact, if you watch the actual video — I was not in the room yesterday, I was here in Boston — if you watch the actual video or talk to people who were there, you can see that he was hanging on to a microphone that someone who worked for the White House came and tried to grab away from him. Now, is it appropriate for the president, in taking questions and answers to say that's enough and to decline to other questions? Sure. Is it appropriate for the White House to seize the hard pass to obstruct daily access to the White House to someone because the president wants to spar with him and considers him a critic? No. The White House Correspondent Association has put out a statement condemning the White House's approach, and I stand with that. It's not an appropriate response. Those hard passes are meant to ease the daily access to someone who has passed security checks. Jim Acosta has certainly does that and this is a moments that not just all reporters but all Americans should be really concerned about and stand together against."


Alex Schroeder Twitter Digital Producer, On Point
Alex Schroeder is a digital producer for On Point.