CNN’s Jim Acosta: ‘I Was Just as Tough’ on President Obama As I Am With Trump
CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and dished on his experience in covering the Trump administration.
Jimmy Kimmel began the interview by praising the CNN reporter — airing a montage of his most contentious moments with the White House — saying he loves seeing Acosta “bust their balls” at the White House.
“Are you the only reporter who has ever been kicked out of a press situation by the President of the United States?” Kimmel asked.
“I think so,” Acosta answered. “I wear it as a badge of honor.”
Acosta thinks he’s “probably” the White House’s least favorite reporter, but quoted FDR in saying he “welcomes their hatred.”
“Listen, when I covered Barack Obama, I was just as tough on him,” Acosta told Kimmel. “People might not want to believe that.”
“They didn’t like you either,” Kimmel replied. “You’re universally disliked everywhere you go.”
Acosta recalled that the Obama White House was “very ticked off” when he asked the then-president about ISIS and why they couldn’t “get these bastards” but that they eventually “got over it” because they know the press has to “ask the hard questions.”
“It is funny that your last name is ‘Acosta’ and you’re constantly ‘accosting’ people,” Kimmel laughed. “It’s almost like you were born to do this.”
Acosta said that he has a “wonderful” relationship with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but that he tries “to have a good relationship” with the White House and that even after confrontations with her and former Press Secretary Sean Spicer, both would still take his calls.
When asked what his most memorable moment covering this presidency, he recalled then President-Elect Donald Trump calling him “fake news” during a press conference, which he thought was “surreal.”
“The question I wanted to ask at that press conference at the time was, ‘Did you or your campaign have contacts with the Russians before the election?'” Acosta continued. “As it turned out, that question was not ‘fake news.'”
Kimmel then asked if he ever felt sorry for Spicer or Sanders for having to be in such a position.
“Listen, they’ve signed up for this and if they’re going to lie to the American people, those lies come with consequences,” Acosta said. “And it’s our job and listen — they could play all the games that they want and not call on me, there’s gonna be somebody else who’s gonna come in. I have other colleagues in the briefing room who ask hard questions as well… we’re just not gonna stop.”
And while Acosta “dares” the president to sit down with him for an interview, he doubts it will ever happen.
Watch the clip above, via ABC.
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