Hours after he clashed with President Trump during a testy press conference, CNN reporter Jim Acosta returned to the White House—and was denied entry by the Secret Service. Press secretary Sarah Sanders later confirmed that Acosta's press pass had been revoked and claimed that he had "placed his hands" on "a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern," the Washington Post reports. "This conduct is absolutely unacceptable," Sanders said. She was referring to Acosta's refusal to surrender a microphone to a White House intern, though other journalists who were present said Sanders' characterization of the incident was false and tweeted videos to prove it. Acosta said "Pardon me, ma'am," as he held onto the microphone when the aide tried to grab it.
"This is a lie," Acosta tweeted in response to Sanders' statement. The White House Correspondents' Association urged the White House to "immediately reverse this weak and misguided action," saying it "strongly objects to the Trump Administration's decision to use US Secret Service security credentials as a tool to punish a reporter with whom it has a difficult relationship," the AP reports. Other White House journalists, including conservatives, called the move disturbing, Mediaite reports. "Plenty to criticize Acosta about, but he did not 'place his hands' on the intern," tweeted Daily Caller journalist Chuck Ross. "It's ridiculous for anyone to suggest he did. And after Trump joked about Gianforte bodyslamming Ben Jacobs the White House can't bust out the fainting couch now." (Last year, White House aide Stephen Miller accused Acosta of a "cosmopolitan bias.")