The Washington Post
By Erik Wemple
Image courtesy of Win McNamee/Getty Images
A chance to corner the president on this matter arose as the president participated in a signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, with a crew of reporters on the scene in what is known as a “pool spray.” CNN’s Jim Acosta was there to witness the moment. After Trump signed the document, he got up and began walking out of the Roosevelt Room. Acosta asked: “Mr. President, what did you mean when you said that Kirsten Gillibrand would do anything for a campaign contribution?”
Good question! The president turned his head with a glare and proceeded to exit. No answer.
Later on, Acosta told CNN colleague Wolf Blitzer about how desperately the White House wanted to sidestep that uncomfortable encounter. “In the moments before I asked the president the question in the Roosevelt Room as he was signing the National Defense Authorization bill, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, pulled me aside — this was prior to me asking that question of the president. And she warned me that if I asked the president a question at this pool spray, as we call them, that she could not promise that I would be allowed into a pool spray again,” said Acosta. “Wolf, this was a direct threat coming from the press secretary to me, warning me not to ask a question and, of course, I went ahead and asked the question anyway and the president did not respond. But Wolf, as you know, we don’t respond to threats, we’re not going to be intimidated.”