'You're such a smartass': Kellyanne Conway slams CNN reporter Jim Acosta for asking if Trump would 'tell the truth'
President Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway and CNN reporter Jim Acosta got into a contentious back and forth during a Tuesday press conference held in the White House driveway hours before the president's primetime address on the border wall. The address comes amid the deadlock between Senate Democrats and the president over funding for the border wall which has led to a partial government shutdown.
During the press conference, Conway talked about the importance of border security and said the president would have to resort to using emergency powers if the Democrats did not comply with his demands.
About five minutes into the conference, the CNN White House correspondent asked Conway if Trump, who is demanding $5.6 billion in spending for the proposed wall, will "tell the truth" in his Oval Office address. The question clearly irked the counselor who fired back at Acosta calling him a "smartass", adding she was "the only one around here who gives you (Acosta) the time of day", Daily Mail reports.
"Can you promise that the president will tell the truth tonight? Will he tell the truth?" Acosta asked. "Yes, Jim and can you promise that you will?" Conway responded, with equivalent scorn. Acosta: "I will. Absolutely."
Conway: "The whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god. Am I allowed to mention God to you?"
Acosta: "I'm not the one that has the alternative facts problem like you do. Will the president tell the truth?"
Conway: "Make sure that goes viral."
Conway: "This is why I'm one of the only people around here who gives you the time of day."
Acosta: "Can you guarantee that the president's speech will pass a fact check?"
Conway: "Let me get back in your face because you're such a smart ass most of the time... And I know you want this to go viral... A lot of these people don't like you. But let me be respectful to the media at large, as I always am... I explained that was alternative information and additional facts, and I explained it many times. Don't you put it back in my face for all the corrections that your network needs to issue. I was on your network 25 or 26 times in 2018 and I'm one of the last people here that even bothers to go on. And the disrespect that you show to me personally, I'll just..."
Acosta: "Ma'am, I just asked you if the president will tell the truth tonight."
Conway: "Don't call me ma'am just to make it up."
Acosta was infamously banned from the White House last year after he engaged in a heated exchange with the POTUS during a November 7 press conference. He adamantly refused to pass the microphone to a female White House aide during the controversial moment.
However, CNN argued in court that keeping Acosta out of the White House violated the network and the reporter's First and Fifth Amendment rights, ultimately leading to the restoration of Acosta's White House press pass.