NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — In his first news conference since late July, President-elect Donald Trump lashed out at a reporter from CNN, refusing to take a question from him and calling his news organization and Buzzfeed “fake news.”
CNN reporter Jim Acosta pushed back at Wednesday’s news conference, demanding an opportunity to ask a question.
A U.S. official says top intelligence officials last week told Trump about an unsubstantiated report that Russia had compromising personal and financial information about him. The story was first reported by CNN Tuesday. Buzzfeed later published a summary of those allegations.
The summary of the allegations was separate from a classified assessment of Russia’s suspected attempts to meddle in the U.S. presidential election.
Trump said the report never should have been released and thanked news organizations that showed restraint.
“A thing like that should have never been written, it should never have been had, and it should certainly never have been released,” Trump said. “It was a group of opponents who got together, sick people, and they put that crap together.”
Acosta pushed back, demanding an opportunity to ask a question.
“No, not you, your organization is terrible. Quiet. Quiet,” Trump said.
“Don’t be rude. Don’t be rude. Don’t. Be. Rude,” Trump added. “I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news.”
Acosta responded, “Mr. President-elect, that’s not appropriate.”
Later Wednesday afternoon, the New York Press Club sent Trump a letter saying they “strong disagree” with his refusal to accept questions from CNN’s Jim Acosta at today’s news conference.
“Mr. Acosta is a tenured, highly-respected journalist. CNN has a long and legitimate standing in the journalism community. They deserve to have their questions heard and answered, especially after you singled them out for criticism in your remarks.
Mister President-elect, you are not always going to like or agree with everything that is reported by the news media. But, an integral part of a free and open Press is to field questions from a broad cross-section of journalists, including those with whom you disagree. To shout down a journalist, refuse to take his question and label his news organization as “fake news” serves no good purpose.
The New York Press Club respectfully calls on you to end this practice of exclusion. We urge you to accept and answer questions from all journalists.”
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