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Donald Trump Newser Makes For Strange Bedfellows As FNC’s Shep Smith Defends CNN’s Jim Acosta

Deadline logo Deadline 2/17/2017 Lisa de Moraes
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CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta got support in an unlikely quarter today after Donald Trump singled him out for ridicule during Trump’s first news conference without his foreign-dignitary training wheels. Fox News Channel’s Shep Smith, who was among the TV journalists who devoted large swaths of the afternoon marveling at Trump’s performance, defended Acosta during one such segment, calling him “an accomplished reporter, a guy I’ve never met, but a good reporter.”

Among the schoolyard taunts directed Acosta’s way, Trump snarked that CNN’s ratings aren’t good these days (“They are pretty good right now,” Acosta shot back), and said the network’s coverage was blinded by hatred for him (“For the record we don’t hate you, I don’t hate you,” Acosta contradicted).

Smith thinks the attack on Acosta, and a handful of other journalists in the room, were bright shiny lights to distract from his non-answers to important questions about reported conversations between his campaign aides and Russian intel officials during the election. During the newer, Trump said “Russia” is a “joke” and a “ruse.”

“It is crazy what we are watching every day,” Smith said in his newser post-mortem. “He keeps repeating ridiculous throwaway lines that are not true at all, and sort of avoiding this issue of Russia as if we are fools for asking the question. Really?” Smith said. “Your opposition was hacked and the Russians were responsible for it and your people were on the phone with Russia on the same day it was happening and we’re fools for asking the questions?”

“(Trump) keeps repeating ridiculous throwaway lines that are not true at all and sort of avoiding this issue of Russia as if we’re some kind of fools for asking the question. Really?” Smith said. “Your opposition was hacked and the Russians were responsible for it and your people were on the phone with Russia on the same day it was happening and we’re fools for asking the questions? No sir. We are not fools for asking these questions.”

“That you call us fake news and put us down like children for asking these questions on behalf of the American people is inconsequential. The people deserve that answer, at very least,” Smith said.

Trump was repeatedly asked by reporters from different publications about reported conversations between his campaign aides and Russian officials. Trump said Russia is a “joke” and a “ruse.”

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