- Anthony Scaramucci defended CNN correspondent Jim Acosta on Tuesday, after Acosta encountered an openly hostile audience at a rally for President Donald Trump in Florida.
- “This isn’t our best. It’s not who we are,” Scaramucci said on Twitter. “The free press needs to be protected … That’s why that Amendment was First,” he said.
- A group of Trump supporters loudly heckled Acosta as he was reporting from the rally in Tampa. Videos circulating on social media showed the crowd chanting slogans like “CNN sucks.” One photo showed an attendee raising a middle finger toward the camera.
- Acosta kept working, seemingly unfazed, but later called attention to what he described as a disturbing scene: “I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt,” he said.
Anthony Scaramucci, the one-time White House communications director for President Donald Trump, went to bat for CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, after a hostile crowd confronted Acosta at a Trump rally on Tuesday.
“This isn’t our best. It’s not who we are,” Scaramucci said on Twitter. The comments came hours after Acosta was shouted down at the rally in Tampa, Florida, during which supporters surrounded Acosta while he was working and shouted slogans like “CNN sucks!”
The open harassment coincides with Trump’s escalating attacks on the news media. It reached a tipping point as recently as last week, when another CNN reporter, Kaitlan Collins, was barred from an open White House press event because Trump was angry about the questions she asked him earlier that day.
Scaramucci is one of Trump’s most vocal supporters, and has continued to express his admiration for the president, even after he was fired from his post at the White House just 10 days into the job. “I don’t always agree and am often upset with journalists but we are flashing warning lights now that we shouldn’t be flashing,” Scaramucci said.
“The free press needs to be protected … That’s why that Amendment was First,” he added, referring to the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which codifies provisions supporting free speech and freedom of the press, among other things.
Acosta said the crowd’s visceral reactions on Tuesday were particularly disturbing. “I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt,” he said.