President Donald Trump showed remarkable deference to reporters from authoritarian governments at last week’s failed summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last week in Hanoi, Vietnam, according to CNN’s Jim Acosta.
Acosta, who has a famously strained relationship with Trump, pointed out that the president spent a share of Thursday’s press conference calling on reporters from countries with state-run media, rather than on journalists from free-press nations. Acosta was among White House reporters not called on.
“He spent half of that news conference randomly calling on individual reporters who he didn’t even know, including five or six members of Chinese state media, Russia state media and so on,” Acosta told colleague Brian Stelter on Sunday.
“I think this was a big debacle for this White House press shop from start to finish,” Acosta added.
Acosta also noted White House reporters were ousted from their hotel filing center upon Kim’s arrival. Trump’s administration also was criticized last week for banning reporters from some U.S. media from the president’s Wednesday dinner with Kim for shouting questions during earlier meetings,
Also during Trump’s Thursday press conference, he called on Fox News host Sean Hannity, a notorious Trump enthusiast who lobbed softball questions. Hannity has claimed multiple times not to be a journalist, though he said in a 2017 New York Times interview that he’s “an advocacy journalist, or an opinion journalist.”
Washington Post media critic Eric Wemple last week blasted the White House for embracing “media despotism” by banning reporters from certain outlets from the dinner between the two leaders.