KEY POINTS

  • Jim Acosta says CNN's "record on delivering the truth is a lot better than" Trump's
  • Trump says Acosta has "probably the worst record in the history of broadcasting"
  • Trump and Acosta have been at it since 2016

President Donald Trump had the knives out again for his favorite "fake news" reporter, Jim Acosta, chief White House correspondent for CNN.

Fox News reports a stinging verbal clash between Acosta and Trump during Trump's visit to India on Monday and Tuesday. Acosta told the president CNN's "record on delivering the truth is a lot better than yours sometimes." For his part, Trump again blasted Acosta personally and made the false claim Acosta and his network has "probably the worst record in the history of broadcasting.”

The two tangled during a press conference where Acosta asked if Trump "can pledge to the American people that you will not accept any foreign assistance in the upcoming elections?" He also asked how Trump could justify replacing Joseph Maguire as acting director of national intelligence.

A visibly irritated Trump replied, “First of all, I want no help from any country, and I haven’t been given help from any country.”

Trump then went on to slam CNN for walking back a recent report saying Russia was actively assisting the Trump reelection effort.

“If you see what CNN, your wonderful network said, I guess they apologized in a way. 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?”

The combative Acosta shot back, “Mr. President, I think our record on delivering the truth is a lot better than yours sometimes.”

Trump responded by attacking the credibility of Acosta and CNN.

“Your record is so bad that you ought to be ashamed of yourself. You have probably the worst record in the history of broadcasting,” said Trump as Acosta sought to reply.

“As far as Maguire is concerned, he’s a terrific guy but on March 11 his time ended anyway … his time came up, so we would have had to, by statute, we would have had to change him anyway."

Assertive as ever, Acosta also asked Trump if his new acting director of national intelligence will have experience in the field.

“Yes, we’re talking to five different people right now. I think all people that you’d know, all people that you respect and I’ll make a decision probably over the next week to two weeks. We have some very good people.”

Jim Acosta President Donald Trump (R) gets into a heated exchange with CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (C) as NBC correspondent Peter Alexander (L) looks on during a post-election press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., Nov. 7, 2018 Photo: Getty Images/ Mandel Ngan

Trump's displeasure in Acosta goes way back to 2016 after Trump had declared his candidacy for the presidency. During a nationally TV news conference in May, Trump labeled Acosta "a real beauty" after Acosta asked Trump about his ability to deal with scrutiny.

"Excuse me, excuse me, I've watched you on TV," said Trump. "You're a real beauty."

During Trump's first press conference as president-elect on January 11, 2017, Acosta attempted to ask a question regarding Russia. Trump, however, ignored Acosta to answer questions from other reporters. He then assailed Acosa and CNN as "fake news."

Their most infamous clash occured after the November 2018 midterms. Acosta asked Trump a question about Trump's inflammatory immigration rhetoric and TV ads described as racist.

"You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn't be working for CNN," replied Trump.

The White House barred Acosta from all press conferences after this heated incident. CNN described Acosta's suspension as "retaliation for his challenging questions." It sued Trump in November. On November 16, the presiding judge ordered Acosta's credentials restored for 14 days, saying Acosta's due process rights were violated. CNN dropped the lawsuit on November 19 after the White House restored Acosta's press credentials but with conditions.