(RNN) – CNN reporter Jim Acosta had his White House press pass revoked on Wednesday, apparently for an interaction with President Donald Trump during a news conference earlier in the day.
In an exchange at the afternoon press conference, Acosta pressed Trump on his characterization of a migrant caravan moving through Mexico as an “invasion.” When he tried to ask a second question about the Russia investigation, the president moved to cut him off, saying, “That’s enough.”
At that point, an intern approached and tried to take the microphone. Acosta held it out of her reach and, as she grabbed at it, their arms made some contact.
At the time, Acosta said, “Pardon me, ma’am,” and the president did not take note of it.
Later, though, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Twitter that the White House would not “tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern,” in a series of posts announcing the revoking of Acosta’s “hard pass” used to access White House grounds.
President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern…
Acosta also tweeted around the same time that he had been denied entrance at the White House, and posted a video of himself giving his pass to a Secret Service agent stationed at the gates.
He also quoted Sanders’ tweet and said, “This is a lie.”
The network, in a statement posted to Twitter, called Sanders’ accusations “fraudulent” and said it stood by its reporter.
Trump, during the original exchange, castigated Acosta as a “rude, terrible person” who “shouldn’t be working for CNN.”
The president has long made the network the particular target of his “fake news” refrain, and told Acosta that “when you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people.”
In handing his pass to Secret Service, Acosta said he did not blame the agent.
The US Secret Service just asked for my credential to enter the WH. As I told the officer, I don’t blame him. I know he’s just doing his job. (Sorry this video is not rightside up)
“We have been working at the White House for five years covering two administrations, so yeah, it’s been in that thing a while,” he explained to the agent, who apparently had trouble removing the pass from a lanyard.
“Thank you for your service, officer,” he said as he left the gate.