Acosta Writing a Book About Covering the Trump Administration

The White House reporter is writing about his ‘frightening experience’ for Harper

Jim Acosta / Getty Images
January 24, 2019

CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta is working on a book about the "sobering, bewildering, and sometimes frightening experience" of covering the White House.

The Harper Imprint of HarperCollins made the announcement Thursday, the Associated Press reported, and the book is titled "The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America." Acosta has grown in prominence during President Donald Trump’s administration, publicly sparring with Trump and his press shop and even having his White House "hard pass" temporarily revoked last year after he wouldn’t give up the microphone to an intern during a press conference.

"Simply put, I am writing this book to share what I've experienced covering President Trump during his first two years in office," Acosta said in a statement. "This sobering, bewildering, and sometimes frightening experience has made it absolutely clear that this is a dangerous time to tell the truth in America."

The danger and fear to which Acosta referred comes from his belief that Trump is a bully and he and other Republicans are working to "silence the press in ways we have never seen before." He puts himself at the center of this fight in his statement, apparently alluding to the hard pass incident.

"The president and his team, not to mention some of his supporters, have attempted to silence the press in ways we have never seen before. As just about everybody has seen, I have witnessed this first hand. As difficult as that challenge may be for the free press in America, we must continue to do our jobs and report the news. The truth is worth the fight," Acosta said.

His book’s title refers to Trump’s own "enemy of the people" charge about purveyors of so-called fake news, which Acosta has denied. He has even called on journalists to vocally oppose Trump over it. The subtitle is Acosta's own turn of phrase from a speech he gave last year at San Jose State University.

"This is a dangerous time to tell the truth in America, but the truth is bigger than a bully," he said.

Trump hasn't taken any notable steps to change policy toward journalists, but he has publicly insulted Acosta many times. He called him "very unprofessional" after he wouldn't give up the microphone, which Acosta refused to do to let another reporter ask a question, instead holding onto it so he could ask about Trump's campaign ads, his characterizations of the migrant caravan, and his responses to the Russia investigation.

"I don't think he's a smart person, but he's got a loud voice," Trump said about Acosta later.