Watch @realDonaldTrump to CNN’s activist Jim "The Disgrace" Acosta: "Honestly I think you should let me run the country and you run CNN... And if you did it well your ratings would be much better." pic.twitter.com/QfETrg28ar— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) November 7, 2018
President Trump gave a news conference on Wednesday following the midterm elections. Among the issues that reporters brought up, Acosta asked for a comment on the refugee caravan heading for the U.S.-Mexico border. Many of the Trump administration's claims about this caravan have been proven false, and CNN has been the driving force in calling out these lies. Not long into the conference, President Trump lost his temper with Acosta.
Acosta asked the president about his use of the word "invasion," which he said was "mischaracterizing" a group of migrants that remain hundreds of miles away. He also noted that the impoverished members of the caravan might be intending to try and enter the country legally. To the president, this was semantic.
"I consider it an invasion. You and I have a difference of opinion," he said.
After that, President Trump did his best to brush off Acosta's follow-up questions without answering.
"I think you should let me run the country, you run CNN, and if you did it well, your ratings would be much better," he said. The president turned away, trying to go on to another reporter, but Acosta refused to give up his microphone. He threw out a hasty question about the Russia investigation, but President Trump spoke over him.
"That's enough," the president repeated several times. "I'm not concerned about anything with the Russia investigation because it's a hoax. Put down the mic."
When Acosta still did not surrender his microphone, the president stepped away from the podium for a moment, then came back with fury. He pointed a finger at Acosta as he went on.
"I'll tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of itself, having you working for them," he said. "You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn't be working for CNN... You're a very rude person. The way you treat [Press Secretary] Sarah Huckabee is horrible, and the way you treat other people are horrible. You shouldn't treat people that way."
At that point, Acosta finally conceded his microphone, and the president turned to NBC News' Peter Alexander. To break the tension, Alexander defended Acosta, praising his reporting.
"I'm not a big fan of yours either," he said.
The press conference got no less heated from there. The president went on to accuse a woman of color of asking him a "racist question," speaking in his trademark candid tone.