CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta ripped President Donald Trump over his repeated claim that the Russia investigation was an “attempted coup” by the Obama administration, suggesting that the president doesn’t “understand what he’s saying.”
During a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House on Friday, President Trump insisted that there “absolutely” was an attempted coup and renewed his attacks on the “insurance policy” that was mentioned in a text exchange between former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page. He also called the Russia investigation a “disgrace to our country.”
When asked by CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer if Trump “realizes” what an attempted coup means, Acosta cast doubt.
“I don’t think he understands what he’s saying there when he says an attempted coup. I suppose he understands what the literal definition of an attempted coup is, but I think he is obviously engaging in hyperbole. He knows he’s engaging in hyperbole,” Acosta said. “And when he uses those kinds of words, he’s hoping that when he’s insulated inside his own conservative media cocoon that nobody is going to challenge him on that. That’s why he was saying there in those comments, ‘Well, the fair media, they know what’s going on, they know what really happened.’ That is [a] code word for, well, when we start asking questions about whether or not he actually means that there was an attempted coup, that he can’t really defend those comments.”
Acosta went on to defend the Mueller probe and the “foundation” of the Russia investigation the president continues to attack.
“He keeps trying to make the case that this was some sort of nefarious plot to thwart his run for the presidency. This notion that there was this grand conspiracy to deny him the presidency just doesn’t hold up in that regard,” Acosta continued. “I think if you have the Russians and meddling in our democracy, trying to meet members of the Trump campaign, members of the Trump family, it would be law enforcement and intelligence malpractice not to try and get to the bottom of that.”
Joseph A. Wulfsohn is a media reporter for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @JosephWulfsohn.