“How can you do this and go home at night thinking you’ve turned in an honest day’s work as a journalist?”
CNN’s Jim Acosta mischaracterized President Donald’s Trump’s remarks about immigration on Thursday, and conservatives quickly reminded him that his journalism skills are lacking.
As Trump delivered a speech from the Rose Garden outlining a major overhaul to the U.S. immigration system, Acosta tweeted that the president was portraying all asylum seekers as liars. Though he used journalistic-sounding language, the White House correspondent’s message was clear: The president is a bigot.
Trump in Rose Garden speech paints asylum seekers with broad brush accusing them of misleading immigration authorities at border: “These are frivolous claims.”
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) May 16, 2019
There was just one problem for Acosta, prominent critic of, and sometimes-punching bag for, Trump. His tweet was “fake news.”
As conservative commentators and journalists quickly pointed out, Trump had actually been careful to specify that he was not referring to all asylum seekers. He had in fact praised the American tradition of providing refuge to the world’s persecuted people and framed his criticism of “asylum abuse” in terms of concern for “legitimate asylum seekers.”
“We must also restore the integrity of our broken asylum system. Our nation has a proud history of affording protection to those fleeing government persecutions. Unfortunately, legitimate asylum seekers are being displaced by those lodging frivolous claims. These are frivolous claims to gain admission into our country,” Trump said.
“Asylum abuse also strains our public school systems, our hospitals, and local shelters, using funds that we should, and that have to go to elderly veterans, at risk youth, Americans in poverty, and those in genuine need of protection. We’re using the funds that should be going to them. And that shouldn’t happen. And it’s not going to happen in a very short period of time. I have to get this approved.”
In case anyone missed his point, he repeated it: “My plan expedites relief for legitimate asylum seekers by screening out the meritless claims. If you have a proper claim, you will quickly be admitted. If you don’t, you will promptly be returned home.”
The president went on to outline what he called his “merit-based, high-security plan,” which he promised to pass “immediately after the  election, when we take back the House, keep the Senate and, of course, hold the presidency.”
As Trump’s reelection campaign noted, Acosta wasn’t the only person in America to hear the speech, which was leaked in advance and broadcast on national television. So, people could tell the reporter was doing his job badly.
“How can you do this and go home at night thinking you’ve turned in an honest day’s work as a journalist?” asked the Trump team.
How can you do this and go home at night thinking you've turned in an honest day's work as a journalist?
Full transcript of what President Trump actually said: pic.twitter.com/xmTPmHJ604
— Official Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) May 16, 2019
The Daily Caller’s Ryan Saavedra outright called Acosta a liar.
CNN's @Acosta is a liar.
Trump said: "Unfortunately legitimate asylum seekers are being displaced by those lodging frivolous claims. These are frivolous claims to gain admission into our country. Asylum abuse also strains our public school systems, hospitals, local shelters…" https://t.co/gZ0y6AhfwC
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) May 16, 2019
Washington Free Beacon managing editor David Rutz said Acosta should “correct the record.”
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) May 16, 2019
However, Acosta didn’t amend his “reporting.” Instead, he continued tweeting criticism of the address, calling it a “campaign speech” and complaining that Trump had not taken questions afterwards. He later retweeted a handful of posts supporting his take along with past reports of Trump criticizing those who make fake asylum claims.
No questions at Rose Garden immigration event and no questions leaving WH for Trump.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) May 16, 2019
Acosta has repeatedly been called out for his unfounded, nonsensical and hypocritical coverage of Trump. Last November, the White House briefly revoked his press credentials after he refused to hand over the microphone at a news conference, leading Trump to insult him and his network in real time.
Saavedra opined that Acosta’s refusal to admit he was wrong Thursday “says everything you need to know about his ‘character’ and CNN’s ‘standards.
This tweet has been debunked as a lie for 7 hours
The fact that CNN's Jim Acosta continues to leave it up says everything you need to know about his "character" and CNN's "standards" https://t.co/gZ0y6AhfwC
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) May 17, 2019
Meanwhile, Democratic leaders made clear that, as Trump anticipated, they would not cooperate with his immigration plan.
“It ain’t happening,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the chamber’s top Democrat.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement: “I look forward to reviewing the president’s proposal.”