The White House suspended CNN journalist Jim Acosta’s press credentials, hours after a heated exchange between him and President Donald Trump during a press conference Wednesday. 

Trump called Acosta "a rude, terrible person" during the exchange.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders said Acosta was suspended from the White House “until further notice” because he put "his hands on a young woman." She said the journalist placed his hand on a young staff member who tried to take away his microphone.

“President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern. This conduct is absolutely unacceptable,” Sanders said in a statement.

"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. As a result of today's incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice,” she added.

Acosta reacted to the statement by calling it a “lie.”

White House Correspondents Association also reacted to the decision by stating it "strongly objects to the Trump Administration’s decision to use US Secret Service security credentials as a tool to punish a reporter with whom it has a difficult relationship. Revoking access to the White House complex is a reaction out of line to the purported offense and is unacceptable... We urge the White House to immediately reverse this weak and misguided action."

Acosta found himself clashing with Trump on Wednesday after he challenged the president for his comments about the migrant caravan heading to the U.S. southern border. The POTUS not only dodged the question but also insulted Acosta.

“Honestly I think that you should let me run the country. You run CNN. And if you did it well, your ratings will be much higher,” Trump said.

When the CNN’s chief White House correspondent tried asking him another question, Trump attacked him personally by saying “I tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of themselves having you working for them. You are rude, terrible person. You should not be working for CNN. Go ahead. You are a very rude person, the way that you treat Sarah Huckabee Sanders is horrible. The way that you treat other people is horrible. You should not treat people that way.” 

In August, Acosta asked Sanders if she agreed with Trump’s comments that journalists were the “enemy of the people.” She dodged the question and only said “I think the president has made his position known. It’s ironic, Jim, that not only you and the media attack the president for his rhetoric when they frequently lower the level of conversation in this country.”

In October, he again attempted to ask her the question.

“If the president is going to say the fake news media are the enemy of the people and if you’re going to stand there and continue to say there are some journalists and news outlets in this country that meet that characterization, shouldn’t you have the guts, Sarah, to state which outlets, which journalists are the enemy of the people?” he asked her.

Acosta joined CNN in 2007 after a successful stint with CBS News. He covered the 2008 presidential race and later became a correspondent on American Morning. He covered the 2010 midterm election post which he was promoted as national political correspondent in 2012. He became senior White House correspondent in 2013.

He was one the first reporters whom Trump accused of “Fake News.” In 2017, Acosta asked Trump why it took him two days to condemn the organizers post the Charlottesville white nationalist rally.

“I like real news, not fake news. You’re fake news,” Trump replied. Post this, he was spoofed on Saturday Night Live and was also hated by Trump supporters.

jim acosta Jim Acosta, senior White House correspondent for CNN, speaks on camera after President Donald Trump held an event about the passage of tax reform legislation on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2017. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images