Last week’s press conference made headlines after President-elect Donald Trump argued with reporter Jim Acosta and called CNN “fake news.”
CNN News Anchor John King visited Boston Public Radio today and said both Trump and Acosta acted within their rights during the press conference.
“This president will have his own view of openness and press relations, but my colleague Jim Acosta had every right... to speak up and say, ‘I would like to ask a question,’” said King.
Acosta repeatedly called to Trump to let him ask a question, but his requests were refused.
In addition to accusing CNN of perpetuating fake news, Trump also called BuzzFeed News a “failing pile of garbage.”
King seemed unperturbed by Trump’s tone during the press conference.
“I think the media should fight for access. I think we should also take a deep breath sometimes and realize that [while] what we do is important, he has a right to try to do things differently,” King said. “Let’s see how it works out.”
King said he appreciated calls for solidarity that arose after the dispute between Acosta and Trump, but also said a walk-out would have disadvantaged the public’s access to answers from the president.
King emphasized that the press acts in the service of the public.
“I hope that we respectfully but also forcefully defend our right to ask questions. Where we need to be careful is to make clear that we’re asking questions for the public,” he said. “We’re not important. What we do is important.”
John King is CNN’s Chief political correspondent. He’s the anchor for Inside Politics, which airs Sunday mornings at 8:00. To hear his interview on BPR in its entirety, click on the audio link above.