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White House bans CNN reporter after testy exchanges with Trump


AFP
Washington
The White House war on the press took a new turn with the banning of a CNN reporter, marking a tense new phase in the long-running battle between President Donald Trump and his chief media antagonist.
The ban on CNN's Jim Acosta came after a heated exchange at a White House news conference Wednesday where Trump called the TV reporter a"rude, terrible person" and an"enemy of the people."
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced the decision to revoke Acosta's pass hours after the event, claiming it was because Acosta was inappropriately"placing his hands" on a woman who was taking back a microphone.
She tweeted a video purportedly backing up that claim. But analysts and other journalists pointed out the video had been manipulated, sped up to make it appear he was striking the female aide.
"I think we have crossed a new line, because the reason for taking away Acosta's credentials is a lie," said Dan Kennedy, a Northeastern University journalism professor.
"It's a lie that anyone who has seen the video can see for themselves. We've crossed into a new territory -- not only is the White House going to lie but it's going to be obvious, and they expected people loyal to them to believe it."
The White House Correspondents' Association said it"strongly objects" to the action, calling it"out of line to the purported offense."
Sanders said Thursday the White House stood by its decision:"The question is: did the reporter make contact or not? The video is clear, he did."
Jeff Mason, a Reuters journalist and former president of the association, said on Twitter:"I was seated next to @Acosta at today's press conference and did not witness him 'placing his hands' on the young intern, as the White House alleges."
The video was first shared by a contributor to the Infowars website know for promoting conspiracy theories, reports said.

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