November 15, 2018
President Donald Trump sat down for a wide-ranging interview Wednesday with The Daily Caller to cover the immediate policy future of his tenure since the end of the midterms. Major topics included the professional fates of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and CNN reporter Jim Acosta, the Florida recounts, Amazon and the violent Antifa group.
Recent reports have indicated that Trump has mulled replacing Nielsen, though he began the topic by extolling her potential. The president noted that it is common for staff turnover to occur after midterm elections saying “always in an administration after the midterms you make changes, so, I’m looking at things and I’ve got a lot of options.”
“I will be making a decision on Homeland shortly,” Trump said of Nielsen.
Sources familiar with the process told TheDC Tuesday they expect Nielsen to depart the administration in the coming weeks and that replacements were already being actively considered.
A DHS spokesman responded to TheDC’s interview in a statement saying, “the Secretary is honored to lead the men and women of DHS and is committed to implementing the President’s security-focused agenda to protect Americans from all threats and will continue to do so.”
The president also spoke extensively about CNN’s lawsuit against his administration for revoking Acosta’s press credentials. Trump attacked Acosta’s style of pugilistic journalism, saying he was “just an average guy who’s a grandstander. And he’s got the guts to stand up and, you know, and shout.”
CNN filed suit against the White House Tuesday morning in D.C. District Court. The suit claims the revocation of Acosta’s press pass violates CNN’s First and Fifth Amendment rights (press passes of several other CNN White House reporters have meanwhile remained active and unrevoked). CNN’s lawsuit alleges that “Acosta’s ability to perform his duties as CNN’s Chief White House correspondent is effectively eliminated.”
Trump was not boastful about the prospects of winning the suit.
“I don’t know, I think that we should. Certainly, you shouldn’t be able to go up into a White House and, on principle, it’s very disrespectful to the rest of the press,” he said.
The president repeatedly emphasized that Acosta’s antics often come at the sacrifice of the more buttoned-up members of the press corps.
“He’s actually more disrespectful, I think, to the rest of the media. Because he gets up and grandstands and says he wants to ask three or four questions and everyone else is, you know, you’re trying to get one question in and the room was packed with a couple of hundred people that want to ask questions.”
Trump ended his riff on Acosta by saying CNN’s most visible correspondent is simply “really bad for the country. Because they show how fake it all is.”
This article was posted: Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 5:41 am