US President Donald Trump has threatened to revoke the credentials of more White House reporters, doubling down in response to criticism of his administration's decision to revoke credentials for CNN correspondent Jim Acosta.
"Look, I don't think he's a smart person, but he's got a loud voice", he added.
The National Association of Black Journalists, which also called for Acosta's White House credentials to be reinstated on Thursday, celebrated Ryan, Phillip and Alcindor on Twitter.
The encounter with Mr. Acosta came during a testy exchange with Mr. Trump over a caravan of illegal migrants from Central America. After increasingly heated back-and-forth between the men, Trump told Acosta "you should let me run the country, you run CNN", and cut off his questions.
"The irony of this White House video involving Jim Acosta is that if it is found to be doctored, it will show the administration to be doing what it accuses the news media of doing - engaging in fake information", said Aly Colon, a professor in journalism ethics at Washington & Lee University.
"Those words are bad from a sitting United States president, versus someone who has been covering presidents before he came, and probably after he leaves", she said on CNN.
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Trump went on to refer to another reporter, April Ryan, who works for American Urban Radio Networks and CNN, as "a loser" and "very nasty". "He apparently wants to goad Donald Trump into a confrontation". "But it could be others also", he said.
CNN said Sanders' explanation a lie.
Trump kept his answers short, taking shots at Acosta several times before moving to end the questioning. When you're in the White House, this is a very sacred place to be.
Acosta later tweeted that his press credentials to the White House had been revoked. Trump responded: "Well, I'm not a big fan of yours, either".
"What a stupid question you asked", Trump replied. The way you treat other people is disgusting.
A frame-by-frame comparison of the video shows that Sander's clip has been edited to speed up Acosta's arm movement as he touches the woman's arm.
During the news conference, Trump also turned on reporter Yamiche Alcindor of PBS' "NewsHour". After Acosta finally gives the mic up, Trump chose to attack him personally. As the Society of Professional Journalists warns, "injecting oneself into the story or creating news events for coverage is not objective reporting, and it ultimately calls into question the ability of a journalist to be independent, which can damage credibility".