After Donald Trump lost badly in the midterms last night, he held a press conference this afternoon to try to change the subject. He was even more combative and juvenile than usual, and it was fairly clear that he was hoping his horrid behavior would become the story. After all, in Trump’s warped mind, it’s better to be seen as a jerk than as a loser, right? The trouble: it didn’t exactly work. Now Sarah Huckabee Sanders is going berserk, making false accusations of assault against a reporter, and revoking his press credentials.
Sensing that Donald Trump is now vulnerable, the media decided to aggressively push back against Trump’s bullying antics. In fact, after Trump tried to pick a fight with CNN’s Jim Acosta, one of his favorite targets, Acosta refused to back down. Trump kept trying to intimidate him, and at one point, the White House staffer in charge of passing the microphone around tried to physically take it out of Acosta’s hands. He held firm to it, and the staffer then backed down.
At least that’s what we all saw happen today on television. But in the profoundly deranged mind of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Jim Acosta somehow physically assaulted the staffer: “President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern over the course of 1.5 hours including several from the reporter in question.” But that was only the half of it.
Huckabee Sanders then added this on Twitter: “As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice.” She’s clearly referring to Jim Acosta. Not only is she falsely accusing him of physically assaulting a woman, even though the whole world saw on TV that it didn’t happen, she’s punishing him for the imaginary incident. We hope Jim Acosta sues Sanders over it, and the rest of the White House press corps has a responsibility to boycott every press conference until Acosta is reinstated.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report