U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

White House aides shout down CNN's Jim Acosta as he questions President Trump

Incident Details

Date of Incident
January 16, 2018

Denial of Access

Government agency or public official involved
Type of denial
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer waits for CNN correspondent Jim Acosta to finish speaking on camera before he starts the daily press briefing at the White House, on March 9, 2017.

— REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
January 16, 2018

CNN chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta said that White House aides shouted at him as he tried to ask questions of President Trump in the Oval Office on Jan. 16, 2018.

Acosta, along with other members of the press, covered a meeting at the White House between Trump and President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan. During the meeting, Acosta asked Trump, “Did you say you want more people to come into the country from Norway, Mr. President?”

Trump responded, “I want them to come in from everywhere … everywhere. Thank you very much, everybody.” 

Acosta later tweeted that White House aides shouted in his face and drowned him out as he continued to ask the president questions.

At a photo opportunity in the Oval Office, Acosta again asked Trump if he preferred that only white immigrants come to the United States. 

In response, Acosta said, Trump pointed at him and told him, “Out.”  

On Jan. 17, Acosta participated in a panel discussion on press freedom at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. During the panel discussion, Acosta said that he considers being kicked out of the Oval Office for asking the president if he was a racist to be a badge of honor. 

Acosta is an outspoken critic of the Trump administration, and particularly its treatment of the press. Trump frequently criticizes Acosta on Twitter, often labeling both him and CNN as "fake news."

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].