CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta faced off again against President Donald Trump, accusing the president on Friday of playing fast and loose with the facts to justify his declaration of a national emergency at the southwestern border. Trump blasted CNN as “fake news” in response.
Acosta asked Trump to address the “disconnect” between what he said is happening at the border versus actual “crime data,” including from the Department of Homeland Security. Acosta said that illegal border crossings are at a near-record low (which occurred early in Trump’s presidency but which he took credit for Friday) and that undocumented immigrants commit crimes at a significantly lower rate than American citizens.
“You don’t really believe that,” Trump responded, referring to the crime data. “Take a look at our federal prisons.”
Acosta shot back, “I believe in facts and statistics.”
He asked Trump about criticism that he has “concocted a national emergency” to build his border wall.
The president pointed to six women invited to the Rose Garden whom he called “angel moms,” whose children died because of crimes or accidents linked to undocumented immigrants. (One child died of a drug overdose, according to ABC News.)
“Ask these incredible women who lost their daughters and their sons, OK?” Trump said. “Your question is a very political question, because you have an agenda. You’re CNN. You’re fake news.”
Playboy’s White House correspondent, Brian Karen, later asked similar questions, pressing Trump for facts to back up his claims. At one point the president said he uses “many stats.” Asked to share those figures, Trump responded, “Let me tell you, you have stats that are far worse than the ones that I use, but I use many stats.”
Check out Trump’s angry reaction to Acosta in the video above.
Acosta later highlighted the tragedy of the “angel moms” on CNN.