President Donald Trump trampled on his post-election message of Senate pickups and a better performance in his first midterm than Presidents Obama
or Clinton in a combative press conference in which he was even harsher than usual on the media, CNN notably. CNN countered that the President's
attacks had gone too far.
In a lengthy press conference, after being pressed repeatedly by CNN's Jim Acosta on the President's characterization of the migrant caravan as an "invasion" and whether there would be indictments coming down on the Russia investigation, he first told Acosta to put down the mic, then called the White House reporter a "rude, terrible person" and said CNN "should be ashamed of itself having you work for them." He also said CNN's treatment of press secretary Sarah Sanders was horrible.
He said when CNN reports fake news, which he said it did a lot, they were the enemy of the American people. He also said CNN had gotten the election polls wrong, which he called "voter suppression." The President also sparred with other reporters asking, or trying to ask, tough questions or defending Acosta.
Acosta said later on CNN that when the President goes low he continues to do his job, but that he was surprised that what he thought would be a post-election victory lap came off as a pity party, with the President sounding depressed and defeated over the results. Acosta said the President had appeared to spiral out of control over his "big loss."
The press conference came before Session's firing was revealed, so that was not a subject up for discussion.
Following the President's heated exchange with Acosta, CNN put out an "enough is enough" statement.
"This President's ongoing attacks on the press have gone too far. They are not only dangerous, they are disturbingly un-American. While President Trump has made it clear he does not respect a free press, he has a sworn obligation to protect it. A free press is vital to democracy and we stand behind Jim Acosta and his fellow journalists everywhere."
Fox's Howard Kurtz called the Trump/CNN war of words "unprecedented."