• December 2, 2022

Go Figure: Acosta Refuses to Denounce Violence Against Police, McEnany Schools Him

 Go Figure: Acosta Refuses to Denounce Violence Against Police, McEnany Schools Him

IF YOU’RE FIGHTIN’ IN THE FIGHT OF YOUR LIFE – – THEN LET’S STAND TOGETHER!

CNN chief White House correspondent and resident quack Jim Acosta predictably inserted himself into Wednesday’s press briefing, taking up over four minutes lamenting about Monday night’s events in D.C.’s Lafayette Park and refusing to denounce violence against police officers.

And just as predictably, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany made him look like a fool, repeatedly saying that police “have the right to defend themselves” and that Acosta should respect the tough jobs they do seeing as how law enforcement have been “defending and protecting you as you come into this building each and every day, Jim.”

 

Acosta led off not with a question, but a hot take asserting that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “likely would not have approved what took place Monday evening in front of the White House, as you probably know.”

“If the White House, the President, and his team had to do it again, would you have gassed and pummeled protesters to clear the park so the President could have a photo op,” he added.

McEnany got one sentence out and then Acosta proceeded to filibuster instead of ask questions and have a real exchange. Thankfully, McEnany put a stop to it and laid out the timeline and rationale for clearing Lafayette Park (click “expand”):

MCENANY: So, let me first address no tear gas was used and no rubber bullets were used.

ACOSTA: Chemical agents were used.

MCENANY: So, again, no tear gas was used and no rubber bullets were used. Let me —

ACOSTA: Why are you making that distinction? Chemical agents were used.

MCENANY: — let me — let me back up and —

ACOSTA: We talked to an Episcopal priest who said she was gassed. Others say they were tear gassed in that area.

MCENANY: Well, no one was tear gassed. Let me make that clear. That’s been confirmed by DOD and Park Services as well.

ACOSTA: But chemical agents were used.

MCENANY: So let me go back and address what happened cause there’s been a lot of misreporting. First, I would note that these protests that were going on in the morning, A.G. Barr had determined that we needed to expand the perimeter by a block on each side. He was surprised, A.G. Barr, when he arrived at the White House to see that that perimeter had not been moved, so he said we needed to get going with moving that perimeter. He talked to the officers that out there. That was late afternoon, so that decision was made in the morning. The protesters were told three times over loud speaker that they needed to move and what happened was it grew unruly. There were projectiles being thrown at officers, frozen water bottles were being thrown at officers, various projectiles and the officers had no choice than in that moment but to acted and make sure that they were safe and the perimeter was pushed back because, as we all know, a church was burning in that very area the night before, so the appropriate action was taken.

Acosta followed up with the lame excuse that “the church wasn’t burning” on Monday, so there was no reason to clear the area. McEnany countered that Barr had already said that the perimeter should be extended “so the church would no longer be in harm’s way” and, in similar fashion, “it’s absolutely uncalled for to throw bricks, absolutely uncalled for to throw water bottles that are frozen at police officers.”

Acosta wouldn’t acknowledge that point and instead downplayed it because “the vast majority of those protesters were doing so peacefully and that many of them did not hear those warnings and were simply just pushed out of the way, just forced — pummeled out of the way by their fellow Americans, police officers.”

With McEnany reminding Acosta of the right of police officers to not be physically harmed and Acosta refusing to budge on how what happened Monday was a crime against humanity, this exchange was going nowhere except for the former to tell the latter that the police help keep him safe (click “expand”):

MCENANY: I would say it is uncalled for to throw bricks at officers, uncalled for to throw frozen water bottles at officers. And they also had received intelligence that there were calls for violence against police officers and they found caches of glass bottles, baseball bats and metal poles hidden along the streets. When an officer is at risk, they have the right to defend themselves. They did so peaceably. No one had — no fatalities, no severe injuries.

ACOSTA: Would you do it again?

MCENANY: To protect the lives of officers, they have a right to defend and protect themselves.

ACOSTA: And — and — the White House —

(….)

ACOSTA: I just want to make sure that people that have a problem with what they saw Monday have a chance to have that addressed and I mean, what do you say to Americans who are just outraged by what they saw? And the President going to have —

MCENANY: I would say is —

ACOSTA: — a photo op in front of a church while holding up a Bible.

MCENANY: — officers — officers have a right to defend themselves and you know, I have watched a lot of your coverage —

ACOSTA: Protesters have a right to protest.

MCENANY: I’ve watched a lot of the nation’s coverage. Let’s go through some of the things that happened when officers don’t defend and protect themselves. In St. Louis, four police officers were shot. In Las Vegas, an officer was shot in the head and is on life support. In New York, a cop was beat up by people. In Providence, four or five officers and state troopers were injured. In Asbury Park, New Jersey, a police officer was injured. Police officers are out on the front lines. They’re defending and protecting you as you come into this building each and every day, Jim. We owe them honor. We owe them respect and when they are under attack, they have the ability to defend themselves.

To see the relevant transcript of June 3’s briefing, click “expand.”

White House Press Briefing
June 3, 2020
2:22 p.m. Eastern

JIM ACOSTA: Kayleigh, you mentioned Dr. King. He likely would not have approved what took place Monday evening in front of the white house, as you probably know. If the White House, the president, and his team had to do it again, would you have gassed and pummeled protesters to clear the park so the President could have a photo op?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY: So, let me first address no tear gas was used and no rubber bullets were used.

ACOSTA: Chemical agents were used.

MCENANY: So, again, no tear gas was used and no rubber bullets were used. Let me —

ACOSTA: Why are you making that distinction? Chemical agents were used.

MCENANY: — let me — let me back up and —

ACOSTA: We talked to an Episcopal priest who said she was gassed. Others say they were tear gassed in that area.

MCENANY: Well, no one was tear gassed. Let me make that clear. That’s been confirmed by DOD and Park Services as well.

ACOSTA: But chemical agents were used.

MCENANY: So let me go back and address what happened cause there’s been a lot of misreporting. First, I would note that these protests that were going on in the morning, A.G. Barr had determined that we needed to expand the perimeter by a block on each side. He was surprised, A.G. Barr, when he arrived at the White House to see that that perimeter had not been moved, so he said we needed to get going with moving that perimeter. He talked to the officers that out there. That was late afternoon, so that decision was made in the morning. The protesters were told three times over loud speaker that they needed to move and what happened was it grew unruly. There were projectiles being thrown at officers, frozen water bottles were being thrown at officers, various projectiles and the officers had no choice than in that moment but to acted and make sure that they were safe and the perimeter was pushed back because, as we all know, a church was burning in that very area the night before, so the appropriate action was taken –

ACOSTA: But the church wasn’t burning when they cleared the area. That was —

MCENANY: It was burning the night before, which — which — which enforced the decision to move the perimeter by a block each side so the church would no longer be in harm’s way by the rioters. But it’s absolutely uncalled for to throw bricks, absolutely uncalled for to throw water bottles that are frozen at police officers.

ACOSTA: But don’t you agree, Kayleigh, the vast majority of those protesters were doing so peacefully and that many of them did not hear those warnings and were simply just pushed out of the way, just forced — pummeled out of the way by their fellow Americans, police officers. You sent in members of the military to — to deal with this. I mean, what do you say to Americans that look at what happened on Monday and find that to be appalling?

MCENANY: Well, let me note the National Guard was utilized across Washington D.C. The military was not. There is a distinction and I would say it is uncalled for to throw bricks at officers, uncalled for to throw frozen water bottles at officers. And they also had received intelligence that there were calls for violence against police officers and they found caches of glass bottles, baseball bats and metal poles hidden along the streets. When an officer is at risk, they have the right to defend themselves. They did so peaceably. No one had — no fatalities, no severe injuries.

ACOSTA: Would you do it again?

MCENANY: To protect the lives of officers, they have a right to defend and protect themselves.

ACOSTA: And — and — the White House —

MCENANY: Next question. I think I’ve — Sarah always used to joke about two question Tuesday. I think sometimes I get four or five questions Wednesday.

ACOSTA: I just want to make sure that people that have a problem with what they saw Monday have a chance to have that addressed and I mean, what do you say to Americans who are just outraged by what they saw? And the President going to have —

MCENANY: I would say is —

ACOSTA: — a photo op in front of a church while holding up a Bible.

MCENANY: — officers — officers have a right to defend themselves and you know, I have watched a lot of your coverage —

ACOSTA: Protesters have a right to protest.

MCENANY: I’ve watched a lot of the nation’s coverage. Let’s go through some of the things that happened when officers don’t defend and protect themselves. In St. Louis, four police officers were shot. In Las Vegas, an officer was shot in the head and is on life support. In New York, a cop was beat up by people. In Providence, four or five officers and state troopers were injured. In Asbury Park, New Jersey, a police officer was injured. Police officers are out on the front lines. They’re defending and protecting you as you come into this building each and every day, Jim. We owe them honor. We owe them respect and when they are under attack, they have the ability to defend themselves.

ACOSTA: So you have no regrets?

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