Trump administration tightens immigration asylum rules as caravans continue to push for US border

Trump administration tightens immigration asylum rules as caravans continue to push for US border
Reporters condemn White House decision to bar CNNs Acosta
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is facing criticism from media members that she shared a doctored video of CNN reporter, Jim Acosta, refusing to hand over a microphone to a White House intern during a press conference.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has been accused of sharing a "doctored" video of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s interaction with a White House intern that resulted in the reporter’s press pass being revoked.

It’s unusual for the White House to pull the so-called hard passes from journalists. During Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, the Secret Service denied clearance to Robert Sherrill, a reporter for The Nation who had gotten into physical fights with government officials. During the George W. Bush presidency, Trude Feldman, who worked for various news outlets, was suspended for 90 days after security cameras recorded her looking through a press aide’s desk late one night. In the 1970s, President Nixon tried to get Washington Post reporters banned from the White House.

Trump to ditch Washington restraints as 2018 closes

Acosta's press pass to access the White House was suspended "until further notice" Wednesday, hours after he engaged in a contentious back-and-forth with President Trump. A White House intern attempted to retrieve the microphone from Acosta, but the CNN reporter resisted and asked an additional question – and that’s where things get cloudy.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted the video, which shows Acosta asking a question to President Donald Trump on Wednesday as the intern tries to take his microphone away. But a frame-by-frame comparison with an Associated Press video of the same incident shows that the one tweeted by Sanders appears to have been altered to speed up Acosta’s arm movement as he touches the intern’s arm, according to Abba Shapiro, an independent video producer who examined the footage at the AP’s request.

Sanders said the suspension of his press credentials stemmed from his "placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern." She called the behavior "absolutely unacceptable."

The New York Times editorialized in favor of restoring Acosta’s pass, saying it signaled Trump’s view that asking hard questions disqualifies reporters from attending briefings. The newspaper said that if Sanders was so offended by physical contact, “what did she have to say when her boss praised as ‘my kind of guy’ Rep. Greg Gianforte of Montana, who was sentenced to anger management classes and community service for body-slamming a Guardian reporter last spring?”

Video: White House Suspends CNN Journalists Pass After Clash With Trump

Was the video of CNN reporter Jim Acosta at Trump news conference doctored?

But many high-profile media members, including The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman and CNN executive Matt Dornic, have accused Sanders of using a doctored video speeding up Acosta’s arm motion, as evidence.

During the White House news conference, Acosta and Trump sparred over a question of whether Trump had “demonized immigrants” by calling a caravan of Central American migrants “an invasion.” Following a lengthy back-and-forth, a White House intern tried to take the microphone from Acosta, who held onto it. “Pardon me, maam,” Acosta said in the original video, though the audio was stripped from the edited version.

Video: People are claiming video shared by Sarah Sanders of Jim Acosta was doctored — heres why

“We stand by our decision to revoke this individual’s hard pass. We will not tolerate the inappropriate behavior clearly documented in this video,” Sanders tweeted to accompany the allegedly doctored video.

“Yes, the White House press office is sharing a manipulated video that makes it appear that Acosta was menacing the intern when he was not and did not. The intern reached over Acosta to grab the microphone while he was trying to ask another q and Acosta tried to pull away,” Haberman wrote.

The video has quickly become a flashpoint in the battle over viral misinformation, turning a live interaction watched by thousands in real-time into just another ideological tug-of-war. But it has also highlighted how video content – long seen as an unassailable verification tool for truth and confirmation – has become as vulnerable to political distortion as anything else.

"The question is: did the reporter make contact or not? The video is clear, he did. We stand by our statement,” Sanders told Fox News when reached for comment.

Several media members have accused Sanders of using an edited video circulated by Infowars editor Paul Joseph Watson. Infowars is known for spreading conspiracy theories and is banned from most social media platforms, but Watson has managed to keep his Twitter account.

Reporters pushed Trump on whether his campaign rhetoric on migrants from Central America was divisive – and on developments in a federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and any coordination between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

The video allegedly speeds up Acosta’s arm motion to make it appear that he essentially karate chopped the female intern – but Watson has taken to Twitter to defend himself.

Video: Sarah Huckabee Sanders Used Doctored InfoWars Footage to Justify Acosta Ban

Fox News has not yet confirmed whether or not the video is actually doctored, or simply zooms in on the incident. NBC News tweeted its own video of the encounter.

First comes the start of recognition: we recognize what he describes. Doublethink (holding two contradictory thoughts at the same time), Newspeak, the Thought Police, the Ministry of Love that deals in pain, despair and annihilates any dissident, the Ministry of Peace that wages war, the novel-writing machines that pump out pornography to buy off the masses: Orwell opened our eyes to how regimes worked.

Out Of Line: WH Correspondents Association Blasts Acosta Ban

“The edited video looks authentic: Acosta appeared to swiftly chop down on the arm of an aide as he held onto a microphone while questioning President Trump. But in the original video, Acosta’s arm appears to move only as a response to a tussle for the microphone. His statement, ‘Pardon me, ma’am,’ is not included in the video Sanders shared,” Washington Post technology reporter Drew Harwell wrote.

"I've just been denied entrance to the WH," Acosta tweeted Wednesday night. "Secret Service just informed me I cannot enter the WH grounds for my 8pm hit."

The White House then suspended Acostas press credentials, and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders justified it by releasing video of the exchange between the president and Acosta that showed a young White House aide attempting to retrieve the microphone from the reporter. 

Sanders confirmed Acosta’s claim and the White House Correspondents’ Association – of which Fox News is a member — quickly released its own statement condemning the decision to revoke Acosta’s credential.

Funny how things change. After CNN reporter Jim Acosta forcefully blocked a White House intern doing her job of taking away his microphone after a nasty spat with the president, the media have mostly defended him. Never mind that he laid hands on a young woman without her permission — similar to what Trumps campaign manager did to the Breitbart reporter.

Video: Trump clashes with CNN reporter in exchange at the White House

“We urge the White House to immediately reverse this week and misguided action,” the WHCA wrote. We encourage anyone with doubts that this reaction was disproportionate to the perceived offense to view the video of events.”

It all started when CNN’s Acosta got into a heated debate with Trump after he asked the president about the migrant caravan.

Additionally, Trump never attacked freedom of the press. He has criticized fake news, lies in the media, and partisan press outlets that spread propaganda instead of reporting news. He has never implemented any program or policy to shut down the press, has never taken any action against their liberties — even those who lie for a living.

“Honestly, I think you should let me run the country and you run CNN,” the president said, resulting in the intern attempting to retrieve the microphone.

CNN said Wednesday night that Acosta's suspension "was done in retaliation for his challenging questions at today's press conference" and claimed Sanders "lied" in her explanation of what unraveled.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed Acosta's tweet in a statement, claiming the suspension of his press credentials stemmed from his "placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern." She called the behavior "absolutely unacceptable."

"This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better. Jim Acosta has our full support," CNN said.

The White House intern who attempted to take the microphone from Acosta eventually handed it off to Peter Alexander, of NBC News. He called Acosta a "diligent reporter who busts his butt" — to which Trump shot back: "Well, I'm not a big fan of yours either, to be honest."

New York (CNN Business)Reporters from many news organizations have expressed support for CNNs Jim Acosta after the White House revoked his press pass.

This is a real and urgent concern, and I cant shake it. Ive written about it who knows how many times, starting with the string of violent rhetoric before the 2016 election, including real threats of white supremacist violence such as a plot by militia members to bomb and shoot a Somali community on Election Day 2016 — which the FBI thwarted. It continued with the shooting in Kansas — a month into Trumps presidency — of two Indian men working here on visas, who a Trump supporter thought were Muslim. It continued with the left-wing terrorist who shot up that baseball game months later, with the arrest of a man that same summer who was planning to shoot up CNN, with Charlottesville, with the Trump supporter who killed 58 people in Las Vegas, with the dehumanization of minorities and essential kidnapping and imprisonment of migrant children, with countless white supremacist attacks and acts of terror against minority and Semitic communities — including the recent murder of 11 Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue, the most deadly anti-Semitic attack in US history — with the pipe bombs sent to Trump dissidents, including Barack Obama and CNN, and with many events I havent listed here.

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