CNN issued a statement on Monday defending Jim Acosta, the reporter who got in a verbal tussle with President-elect Donald Trump at last week’s press conference as Trump refused to take his question by arguing that the network was “fake news.”
Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer, on Sunday called for Acosta to apologize, and said that it was “highly unacceptable and inappropriate” that Acosta “took no responsibility for his behavior.”
But a CNN spokesman said, “As we have learned many times, just because Sean Spicer says something doesn’t make it true. Jim Acosta is a veteran reporter with the utmost integrity and extensive experience in covering both the White House and the President-elect. Being persistent and asking tough questions is his job, and he has our complete support.”
Trump has frequently bashed CNN before and after the election. On Wednesday, Acosta pressed Trump to answer his question. Trump was apparently upset over a CNN report that intelligence officials briefed the president-elect on unverified claims that Russian officials had compromising information about him.
Neither CNN nor Acosta apologized.
“I felt it was only fair that if our news organization is going to be attacked, that we get a chance to ask a follow-up question about what Donald Trump was talking about,” Acosta said afterward.