Trump's verbal spat with Acosta was one of several instances during the 9o-minute press conference. The dispute began with Acosta asked Trump about the migrant caravan approaching the U.S. southern border. Acosta pushed further, asking Trump whether the caravan really was an “invasion,” as Trump had previously stated,
“The caravan was not an invasion, it is a group of migrants moving up the border from Central America towards the border with the U.S.,” the reporter scolded Trump.
“Thank you for telling me that, I appreciate it,” Trump said, before saying he had not “demonized” immigrants as Acosta claimed.
As Trump began to answer, Acosta repeatedly interjected and went back and forth with Trump over how the White House had characterized the caravan.
“They're hundreds of miles away, that’s not an invasion,” Acosta said.
“Honestly, I think you should let me run the country, you run CNN and if you did it well, your ratings would be much better,” Trump said.
Acosta later asked about the Russian investigation, which Trump then called a “hoax.” After Acosta eventually sat down, Trump said “the way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible and the way you treat other people is horrible,”
Acosta was helped by fellow reporter and NBC correspondent Peter Alexander, who called Acosta a “diligent reporter who busts his butt.”
“Well, I’m not a big fan of yours either, to be honest," Trump responded.
At that point, Acosta stood up and kept speaking to the president, to which Trump had another retort.
“When you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people,” he said.
Following the fiery exchange, CNN defended Acosta on Twitter, calling his attacks on the media "un-American."