During his speech declaring a national emergency to get his border wall built, President Donald Trump tore into CNN’s Jim Acosta for asking him tough questions on his justifications for the wall.
Trump’s meltdown began when Acosta, a longtime target of the president’s and his press office, noted that border crossings are lower now than they have been in the past.
“I wonder if you could comment on this disconnect that we seem to have in this country where you are presenting information about what’s happening at the border,” Acosta said, “calling it an invasion, talking about women with duct tape over their mouths and so on, yet there is a lot of reporting out there, a lot of crime data out there, there is a lot of Department of Homeland Security data out there, that shows border crossings at a near record low.”
The president began interrupting the reporter before he finished, saying there are still “massive numbers” of illegal border crossings. Acosta continued, noting that data shows “undocumented immigrants committing crimes at lower levels than native-born Americans.”
“You don’t really believe that, do you?” Trump responded. “Do you really believe that? Look at our federal prisons.”
“I believe in facts and statistics,” Acosta responded before asking: “What do you say to your critics who say that you are creating a national emergency? That you are concocting a national emergency here to get your wall?”
“What do you think?” Trump rebutted. “Do you think I am creating something?”
The president then added: “Your question is a very political question because you have an agenda. You are CNN, fake news. You have an agenda.”
“The numbers that you gave are wrong,” Trump continued. “Take a look at our federal prison population. See how many of them percentage-wise are illegal aliens. Just see. Go ahead and see. It’s a fake question.”