The White House has suspended the credentials of a CNN’s chief White House correspondent hours after a testy exchange with US President Donald Trump.
A White House staffer tried to grab the microphone from CNN’s Jim Acosta at the press conference on Wednesday.
But press secretary Sarah Sanders said access was removed because the reporter put “his hands on a young woman”.
The CNN journalist was called a “rude, terrible person” by Mr Trump at the press conference on Wednesday.
It was during this exchange with the president that a staff member tried to take Mr Acosta’s microphone away, while he attempted to ask Mr Trump a second question.
Ms Sanders, in a statement posted in a Twitter thread, said the White House would “never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job”.
“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,” she said.
“As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice.”
The press secretary later shared a zoomed in clip of the incident, saying they “will not tolerate the inappropriate behaviour clearly documented in this video”.
Mr Acosta posted a tweet saying he was stopped by the Secret Service from entering White House grounds.
President Trump insulted Mr Acosta after the reporter challenged his recent assertions about a migrant caravan heading to the US from Central America.
A female staff member then attempted to take the microphone from Mr Acosta.
“That’s enough, that’s enough,” the president said to Mr Acosta, before telling him to sit down and to put down his microphone.
“CNN should be ashamed of themselves, having you work for them,” he said. “The way you treat Sarah Huckabee [Sanders] is horrible.”
Journalists decried the move to revoke Mr Acosta’s access.
CNN issued a statement on Twitter saying the ban was “in retaliation for [Jim Acosta’s] challenging questions”.
“In an explanation, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders lied,” it said. “She provided fraudulent accusations and cited an incident that never happened.”
The White House Correspondents’ Association – a group that represents the press corps at the presidential residence – called the decision “out of line” and “unacceptable”.
“We urge the White House to immediately reverse this weak and misguided action.”