On Thursday, CNN personality and noted Trump critic Jim Acosta attempted to hijack a press event by badgering President Donald Trump about the new allegations leveled against him by Lev Parnas.
However, he soon discovered that Trump wasn’t having it.
Acosta sets Trump off
Acosta began by asking, “What is your response to [Lev] Parnas who says that your efforts in Ukraine, that you just wanted Joe Biden out? What’s your response?”
Lev Parnas, a Florida-based associate of Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani who has been indicted for campaign finance violations, claimed in a recent interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that he was sent with Trump’s knowledge to Ukraine for the purpose of digging up dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden.
Trump replied that he wasn’t familiar with Parnas and that any contact they might have had would have only been superficial:
Well, I don’t know him. I don’t know Parnas other than I guess they had pictures taken, which I do with thousands of people, including people today that I didn’t meet. Just met him. I don’t know him at all, don’t know what he’s about, don’t know where he comes from; know nothing about him.
While Trump continued to speak, Acosta made several attempts to interrupt. However, after a while, it became clear that the president’s patience was wearing thin.
“But I don’t know him; I never had a conversation with him that I remember with him,” Trump continued, as Acosta once again tried to interject. “You certainly, you just have to take a look at the polls — Quiet,” he snapped at the CNN reporter.
A history of conflict
This was hardly the first example of the tension between Trump and Acosta: the pair frequently clashed even before Trump took office.
During a 2016 press conference at Trump Tower, then-President-elect Trump shut down a pestering Acosta by declaring, “You are fake news.”
Their most heated confrontation came at the White House in 2018 when Acosta used his arm to push away a female aide who was attempting to take a microphone from him.
“That’s enough. Put down the mic,” Trump insisted. “I tell you what, CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person, you shouldn’t be working for CNN.”
CNN responded to that by putting out a tweet accusing Trump of being “unAmerican” and having “gone too far.”