As reported by FoxNews
The Democratic freakout over Bernie Sanders may be dominating the news, along with the coronavirus and the stock market plunge, but Donald Trump always finds a way to break through.
He may have been across the globe in India, but that didn’t stop him—and it wasn’t about the outbreak of religious violence in New Dehli.
The president used a news conference to strafe two of his favorite targets, CNN and the courts.
More precisely, he got into a war of words with Jim Acosta and assailed two liberal Supreme Court justices, Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The history of animosity between Trump and Acosta is no secret. The White House even suspended Acosta’s credentials after that incident when he kept talking and refused to give up the mike, only to restore them after CNN filed suit.
So why does Trump continue to call on Acosta, who tends to turn his questions into moralistic speeches? Because the president finds him a useful foil.
This particular Acosta question was blunt but legitimate. After others asked about an administration official’s intel showing Russia trying to interfere with the 2020 elections, the correspondent asked: “Can you pledge to the American people that you will not accept any foreign assistance in the upcoming election?”
“First of all,” said Trump, “I want no help from any country, and I haven’t been given help from any country and if you see what CNN, your wonderful network, said, I guess they apologized in a way for — didn’t they apologize for the fact that they said certain things that weren’t true? Tell me, what was their apology yesterday? What did they say?”
Now at this point Acosta could have defended his network by explaining what it did (and this was left out of numerous media reports).
“Mr. President,” he could have said, “CNN is committed to getting it right. That’s why we did a followup story that was more favorable to your administration. There was no apology.”
That report began: “The U.S. intelligence community’s top election security official appears to have overstated the intelligence community’s formal assessment of Russian interference in the 2020 election, omitting important nuance during a briefing with lawmakers earlier this month, three national security officials told CNN…The U.S. does not have evidence that Russia’s interference this cycle is aimed at reelecting Trump, the officials said.”
Instead, Acosta threw down the gauntlet and essentially called Trump a liar:
“Mr. President, I think our record on delivering the truth is a lot better than yours sometimes if you don’t mind me saying.”
That enabled Trump to fire back: “Let me tell you about your record, your record is so bad you ought to be ashamed of yourself. You have the worst record in the history of broadcasting.”
Acosta replied that he and CNN weren’t ashamed of anything. Once again, the story was about Acosta. But Trump must have wanted such an exchange as an opportunity to scold his least favorite cable news network.
The president’s broadside against the two justices follows his sharp criticism of the judge in the Roger Stone case (against Bill Barr’s wishes) and a broader assault on law enforcement.
The latest round began when Trump used Twitter to approvingly quote Fox’s Laura Ingraham, who said the justices should recuse themselves on all Trump or Trump-related matters.
The president told reporters that “I always thought that, frankly, that Justice Ginsburg should do it because she went wild during the campaign when I was running. She said some things that were obviously very inappropriate. She later sort of apologized. I wouldn’t say it was an apology but she sort of apologized.” (In 2016, Ginsburg called Trump a “faker” who she could not imagine in the White House, and later admitted her comments were “ill-advised,” which they were.)
Trump also accused Sotomayor of “trying to shame people perhaps with a different view into voting her way,” said both justices had been “highly inappropriate” and that “I just don’t know how they cannot recuse themselves for anything having to do with Trump or Trump related.”