Hours after engaging in a testy confrontation with Donald Trump at a news conference, the White House on Wednesday suspended the press pass of a CNN reporter.
“The White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, referring to CNN reporter Jim Acosta, who then tweeted that he had been denied White House entry.
Earlier a visibly angry Trump had branded Acosta an “enemy of the people” on national television, after the CNN White House correspondent refused the president’s orders to sit down and give up the microphone during a press conference one day after the US midterm vote.
BBC adds : A White House staffer tried to grab the microphone from CNN's Jim Acosta at the press conference on Wednesday.
But press secretary Sarah Sanders said access was removed because the reporter put "his hands on a young woman".
Mr Acosta called Ms Sanders claim "a lie".
The president said the CNN journalist was a "rude, terrible person" at the press event.
What happened at the press conference?
Mr Acosta challenged Mr Trump's recent assertions about a migrant caravan heading to the US from Central America.
A female staff member then attempted to take the microphone from the journalist.
"That's enough, that's enough," the president said to Mr Acosta, before telling him to sit down and to put down his microphone.
"CNN should be ashamed of themselves, having you work for them," he said. "The way you treat Sarah Huckabee [Sanders] is horrible."
What did the White House say?
Ms Sanders, in a statement posted in a Twitter thread, said the White House would "never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job".
"The fact that CNN is proud of the way their employee behaved is not only disgusting, it's an example of their outrageous disregard for everyone, including young women, who work in this Administration," she said.
"As a result of today's incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice."
The press secretary later shared a zoomed in clip of the incident, saying they "will not tolerate the inappropriate behaviour clearly documented in this video".
Mr Acosta posted a tweet saying he was stopped by the Secret Service from entering White House grounds.-AFP