- Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
- White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta got into a heated exchange, hours before President Donald Trump was expected to deliver his first prime-time address.
- Acosta asked Conway if she believed Trump “will tell the truth” during his Tuesday night address to the nation.
- Conway accused Acosta of seeking attention and described him as a “smart-ass.”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta got into a heated exchange at the White House on Tuesday, hours before President Donald Trump was scheduled to deliver his first prime-time address to the nation.
“Can you promise that the president will tell the truth tonight? Will he tell the truth?” Acosta asked Conway, outside the White House grounds with a group of other reporters.
“Yes Jim, and can you promise that you will?” Conway asked.
Conway then interrupted Acosta’s rebuttal.
“And let me get back in your face because you’re such a smart-ass most of the time,” Conway said. “And I know you want this to go viral, a lot of these people don’t like you.”
Acosta shares a well-documented history of incendiary interactions with Trump’s various advisers, press secretaries, and counselors. The CNN correspondent routinely challenges the administration, and he has attracted both praise and condemnation in the process.
Acosta’s relationship with the White House hit a low point in November when it suspended his press pass after a particularly heated one-on-one exchange with Trump during a press conference.
CNN filed a lawsuit in response, alleging its First Amendment rights were violated, and the White House reinstated Acosta’s hard pass.
Trump is scheduled to deliver his first prime-time address at 9:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, amid the ongoing partial government shutdown that is now on its 18th day. The president is expected to discuss the developments on the US-Mexico border, which he described as a “crisis.”