The man who will run Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign on Tuesday called for CNN reporter Jim Acosta to have his credentials “suspended” after he dared to ask questions of the president and Kim Jong Un during their press availability in Singapore this week.
“Jim @Acosta should immediately have his press credentials suspended. He is an absolute disgrace!” Brad Parscale tweeted in response to an article accusing CNN’s chief White House correspondent of “interrupting” the “historic signing ceremony” between Trump and Kim.
“The media should be cheering @realDonaldTrump’s progress with North Korea. Instead they are trying to downplay and poke holes,” Parscale later added. “Their dislike for President Trump is greater than their love of peace.”
"Mr. President, did we agree to denuclearize?" Acosta, who was serving as the official pool reporter, asked Trump, who answered: “We are starting that process very quickly.” Acosta then asked: "Did you talk about Otto Warmbier, sir?" To that question, he received no response.
Parscale’s tweet follows another article published by Fox News on Tuesday morning that bemoaned how Kim Jong Un got a “taste of CNN's grandstanding newsman at historic summit.” Fox News writer Greg Wilson noted that after Acosta got a response from Trump he “seemed encouraged to demand answers from Kim, who is used to a more compliant media.”
As Acosta’s CNN colleague Andrew Kaczynski pointed out on Twitter, Fox News had a “radically different take” when Acosta pressed Cuban President Raúl Castro during a 2016 joint press conference with President Obama. Back then, the conservative network almost seemed to praise Acosta for pressing the Cuban dictator on human-rights issues.
But all of that has changed since Acosta became Trump’s number-one “enemy of the people” for simply doing his job and often demanding answers from the administration on a wide variety of topics.
Before he was even sworn in as president in January 2017, Trump held a rare solo press conference and shouted down Acosta with the words “You are fake news!” after the reporter tried to get a question in without being called on. “Since you’re attacking us, can you give us a question?” Acosta asked the president. “Since you are attacking our news organization—can you give us a chance?”
In the 18 months since, Acosta has tangled publicly with Trump adviser Stephen Miller, over, of all things, the message behind the Statue of Liberty. He took former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer to task for holding press briefings off-camera and accused the president of holding a “fake news conference” in Poland.
“No matter what this president wants to do or thinks he can do… he cannot stop a free press. It isn’t going to happen. It’s just patently un-American,” Acosta told The Daily Beast earlier this year, adding, “There are days when you can’t be the shrinking violet. I’m going to do my damn job.”
In response to the latest attacks on his character following the Singapore summit, he simply tweeted, “Democracy... drink it in people.”