CNN reporter 'placed hands' on intern, White House claims
A reporter involved in a fiery exchange with US President Donald Trump at a press conference has had his White House pass suspended and been accused of "placing his hands" on a White House intern.
CNN's Jim Acosta sparked a heated attack from the president when he quizzed him about his midterm election campaign rhetoric on a "migrant caravan".
When he tried to ask a follow-up question about the investigation by Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Mr Trump snapped at him.
"CNN should be ashamed of itself, having you working for them," Mr Trump said.
"You are a rude, terrible person."
A White House staffer grabbed and pulled the microphone while Acosta held it in his hands.
Following the incident White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted that Acosta's hard pass had been suspended "until further notice".
She also levelled further accusations at Acosta.
"President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his administration," she said.
"We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern."
Other reporters, including some at the press conference, have ridiculed the accusation, pointing out that video and photos of the event appear to show that it is the intern who repeatedly grabs Acosta, who does not touch her.
During the conference, Mr Trump repeated his oft-used claim the media was an "enemy of the people", and alleged again that CNN reported "fake news".
"Contrary to CNN’s assertions there is no greater demonstration of the President’s support for a free press than the event he held today," Ms Sanders said.
"Only they would attack the President for not supporting a free press in the midst of him taking 68 questions from 35 different reporters over the course of 1.5 hours including several from the reporter in question.
"The fact that CNN is proud of the way their employee behaved is not only disgusting, it‘s an example of their outrageous disregard for everyone, including young women, who work in this Administration."
Acosta confirmed he had been denied entrance to the White House and tweeted a video of a Secret Service officer taking his pass outside the White House.
"I don't blame him," he wrote.
"I know he's just doing his job."
In a statement following the press conference CNN condemned Mr Trump's "ongoing attacks on the press" as "un-American".
Acosta has worked as CNN's White House correspondent for five years.
He joined CNN in 2007, and has covered the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney.
Prior to his time at CNN, he worked as a correspondent for CBS News, reporting from Baghdad on the Iraq War, and covering Hurricane Katrina.
Originally a radio reporter, he became a TV journalist in 1994.