Sanders Ripped for Using 'Doctored Infowars Video' to Justify Pulling Acosta's Press Pass

Reporters accused the White House press secretary of sharing actual 'fake news' and dubbed her 'the most dishonest Press Secretary in history'

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, June 14, 2018.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, June 14, 2018.Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Latest: Expert Says Acosta Video Distributed by White House Was Doctored

On Wednesday, the day after his party lost its lock on the U.S. Congress, U.S. President Donald Trump walked into a White House press conference ready for political combat, name-checking Republicans who he blamed for losing their seats and lashing out at reporters who challenged his assertions - giving CNN's Jim Acosta particular attention.

The next day White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is facing accusations from reporters that she shared an edited video of the exchange between  Acosta and an administration aide.

Sanders tweeted the video, which was apparently first created by banned conspiracy theory website Infowars, from her official account to justify the White House's decision to revoke Acosta’s press pass.

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In a statement, Sanders called Acosta's behavior "absolutely unacceptable" and said his White House press pass would be suspended "until further notice."

Sanders accused Acosta of "placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern" and of preventing other reporters from asking questions at the news conference.

Matt Dornic, CNN’s vice president of communications and digital partnerships, said it was “absolutely shameful” for Sanders to share the video. 

“History will not be kind to you,” Dornic tweeted. Newsweek's Nicole Goodkind tweeted, "This is a video that Infowars made. They sped it up so that it seems more violent than it is."

MSNBC's Elise Jordan added, "The White House Press Secretary tweeted a doctored Infowars video, solidifying her position as the most dishonest Press Secretary in history. That is something."

Acosta said in a tweet late on Wednesday he had been denied entry into the White House by the Secret Service. He called the White House accusations "a lie."

Trump's news conference, which stretched close to 90 minutes, turned raucous when some reporters pushed him 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.

Trump aggressively pushed back.

"CNN should be ashamed of itself, having you working for them," Trump told CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, who wrestled with a White House staffer who forcibly pulled the microphone from his hands.

"You are a rude, terrible person," Trump told Acosta.

To PBS NewsHour's Yamiche Alcindor, who asked him about white nationalists emboldened by Trump labeling himself a "nationalist," Trump said he was insulted.

"That's such a racist question," said Trump, who has made accusations of unfair coverage from the media a staple on the campaign trail.

This story was first published on November 8, 2018 and updated

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