Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday that CNN reporter Jim Acosta should apologize to President-elect Trump after Spicer said Acosta was “rude, inappropriate and disrespectful” during Trump’s press conference earlier Wednesday.
“I think Mr. Acosta owes the president-elect and frankly the entire press corps an apology for his childish and inappropriate behavior,” Spicer told Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
Acosta repeatedly called on Trump to let him ask a question after the president-elect disparaged reports by CNN and BuzzFeed that Russian spies have collected compromising information about him. Trump refused to call on Acosta, at one point telling him “Don’t be rude” before finally blasting CNN’s report as “fake news.”
After the press conference, Spicer said he approached Acosta and “I informed him that I thought that no one should be treated that … disrespectfully, and that if he did it again in the future, I would have him removed.”
“No one needs to be treated with that level of disrespect and rudeness,” Spicer later added.
The former Republican National Committee spokesman added that the contentious nature of Wednesday’s presser could be a preview of future briefings under a Trump administration.
“If you want to have a conversation and engage in a polite and respectful manner with the president-elect, he’s gonna treat you in kind,” Spicer said. “But if you come in hot and want to be disrespectful and rude, as Jim Acosta was today, he’s not gonna sit back and take it. This is a man who fights and wins.”