PORTRAIT – Tonight, after a stormy exchange with the president of the United States during a press conference, the 47-year-old correspondent saw the microphone snatched from the "White House" agent.
This is the image of the night. That of the White House employee, who during a press conference tried to snatch Jim Acosta's microphone, a journalist who asked Donald Trump a question. "The CNN should be ashamed to use you, you're a horrible person," even the president of the United States told the main correspondent of the American news channel during this sequence. But who really is this journalist whose accreditation to the "White House" is suspended?
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In the United States, Jim Acosta is known for his regular skirmishes with the president of the United States. It all started in May 2016, during the presidential campaign, when Donald Trump, at a television conference, openly teased him. "I saw you on TV, you're a real beauty." In January 2017, a few days before the inauguration, during a new game of questions and answers with the press at Trump Tower, Jim Acosta will be the first journalist accused by the head of state of transmitting false news. A charge became the pastime of the former TV star.
Such a palpable tension that Jim Acosta is now accompanied by a security guard on his travels. "I met again a few days ago in a meeting of Trump with a bodyguard," tells us Philippe Corbé, correspondent for the United States for RTL, on Twitter. A month ago, at a conference in front of San Jose University students, Jim Acosta talked about his experience with Donald Trump. For example, he said that during some meetings, he often heard "CNN sucks" (CNN feared, Ed) or "false news" from the crowd. He also regularly revealed receiving offensive messages on his Twitter accounts (for 893,000 subscribers), Instagram and Facebook.
"It's a dangerous time to tell the truth in America, but the truth is bigger than a bully," he said that day as he took position, which is often blamed by critics and by Donald Trump in person. "As journalists and citizens, we must take a stand, not against the president, but for the truth". On Twitter, he posts a message from October 29th. A sort of mantra, in response to the populist president: "We are not the enemies of the people, I am not your enemy, it is wrong to call your American compatriots the enemy, we are all on the same team.
Jim Acosta is not a beginner. At 47, he had already covered four presidential elections in the United States and followed two White House administrations. After working on small local news channels (WTTG Fox, NBC WBIR-TV), Jim Acosta climbs the scale inside CBS. In 2001 he became a channel correspondent in Dallas, Chicago, New York and Atlanta. Three years later, again for the channel, he covers the campaign of John Kerry, a Democratic candidate in the presidential elections. At this time, he also follows the Iraq war from Baghdad.
In 2008, for CNN this time, he closely followed Barack Obama's campaign in his White House run. Rebel in 2012 with Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate. Shortly thereafter, he became one of the journalists accredited at the "White House". In these walls, mark the spirits. In November 2015, for example, during a press conference, he did not hesitate to call Barack Obama, in a flourished language, on his strategy to destroy Daesh. "Why can not we get those bastards out?" He asked the president. A year later, in Havana, Cuba, this Cuban refugee son took advantage of the joint press conference between Barack Obama and Raul Castro to exert pressure on the Cuban head of state on human rights. This father of two became CNN's chief correspondent at the White House on January 9, 2018. A mission for the moment interrupted.