Donald Trump refused to answer a question from CNN while addressing the press for the first time in almost six months.
Speaking at a news conference from Trump Tower, the president-elect opened the floor to questions from journalists yet shut down a CNN’s senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta after he attempted to pose a question.
Moments before, Trump had condemned BuzzFeed News and CNN for reporting on a leaked dossier containing allegations that Russia holds compromising information about him.
“I think it’s a disgrace that information that was false and fake, and never happened, got released to the public,” he said before referring to BuzzFeed News as “a failing pile of garbage”.
President-Elect Donald Trump calls out Buzzfeed and CNN as fake news, tells reporter: "YOU are FAKE NEWS!" pic.twitter.com/Bk1MrjysqY
— Makada 🇺🇸 (@_Makada_) January 11, 2017
“Since you’re attacking our publication, could you give us a chance to ask a question, Sir?” CNN correspondent Acosta asked Trump, only to be ignored. Acosta called out to the president-elect again who told him to be quiet.
“I’m not going to give you a question because you are fake news,” Trump said to Acosta.
Trump’s refusal to allow the CNN correspondent the chance to talk was met with backlash from much of the public, many of which slated him for his lack of professionalism.
Trump is so disrespectful!!!! Don't become president if you can't handle the heat from a news reporter's question
— Emily Isabelle (@eschneiderr) January 11, 2017
Trump dismissing CNN as "fake news" & refusing to answer question is the fraud our country elected. Why did I think he wouldn't be that bad.
— 🌚 (@AlecCerqueira) January 11, 2017
Yeah, Trump should answer all questions. But why is no one mentioning that the PRESIDENT thinks the silent treatment is good public policy?
— Wade Strine (@Wade_von_Musel) January 11, 2017
Others suggested the president-elect was being unfairly selective about the journalists he chose to call on, and subjects he decided to speak on.
Donald Trump refusing to answer questions from news outlets that have written negative stories about him is v.dangerous for freedom of press
— Jonny Chard (@JonnyC07) January 11, 2017
Trump refusing to answer questions from outlets he doesn't like.
Look for him to squeeze these outlets using his power in the coming years
— Dobbie Lamberto (@DobbieSayz) January 11, 2017
What worries me most about Trump is that he refused to take questions from media who openly disagreed with him.
— Dan Sandler (@Danielsand) January 11, 2017
However a few people seemed to stand by Trump’s decision to shun the reporter.
CNN fake news for years.Well done by Trump refusing to give them a question.National Enquirer can take their place. #TrumpPressConference
— Russell M (@RussMcCuiston) January 11, 2017
Trump strongly refused to take a question from a CNN representative while speaking at his first press conference since the election.
— Kathy Zhu (@PoliticalKathy) January 11, 2017
After the news conference, Acosta said he indeed got an answer to his question after it was later asked by ABC News’ Cecilia Vega.
Fortunately ABC's Cecilia Vega asked my question about whether any Trump associates contacted Russians. Trump said no.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 11, 2017
CNN responded to Trump’s accusations the publication was “fake news” shortly after. It said:
“CNN’s decision to publish carefully sourced reporting about the operations of our government is vastly different than Buzzfeed’s decision to publish unsubstantiated memos. The Trump team knows this. They are using Buzzfeed’s decision to deflect from CNN’s reporting, which has been matched by the other major news organizations.
“We are fully confident in our reporting. It represents the core of what the First Amendment protects, informing the people of the inner workings of their government; in this case, briefing materials prepared for President Obama and President-elect Trump last week.
“We made it clear that we were not publishing any of the details of the 35-page document because we have not corroborated the report’s allegations. Given that members of the Trump transition team have so vocally criticized our reporting, we encourage them to identify, specifically, what they believe to be inaccurate.”