CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta slammed President Donald Trump as the "king of fake news" while appearing on a panel at an event hosted by the Newseum in Washington, D.C. and the Committee to Protect Journalists on Wednesday night.
Acosta was joined by other White House correspondents, including Fox News' John Roberts and Urban Radio Networks' April Ryan, to discuss press freedom in the U.S., Mediaite reported.
Politico reporter Cristiano Lima was in the audience and mentioned that CNN won several categories in Trump's fake news awards, which were released through the Republican Party's official website shortly before Lima asked his question. He then asked if he could get a response from the correspondents.
"I would say—having been called fake news myself, that the president of the United States is the king of fake news. He is the king of fake news," Acosta said. "He said Barack Obama was not born in this country. He said Mexicans are rapists and criminals. He has said many things. "
Acosta went on to say that Trump lied about millions of undocumented immigrants causing him to lose the popular vote and about the size of his inauguration crowd in Washington, D.C.
"The list goes on and on," Acosta said. "I don't want people to think that I'm saying that because I have an axe to grind, or I'm here to criticize or be political or have an agenda or whatever you were saying earlier. It's just a fact."
"We've been saying there's an apple and there's a banana. We've been sticking to apples. They're throwing out a lot of bananas," Acosta continued. "It's unfortunate that the president has sunk to that level where he has to go around issuing these kinds of awards. It's just not what you would think would happen in this country."
Acosta said this week that it was a "badge of honor" to be thrown out of the Oval Office on Tuesday for asking Trump if he was a racist after the president was accused of calling Haiti, El Salvador, and some African nations "s—hole countries." Trump denied those accounts and said he used "tough" language, but not the language he was accused of.
Last week, the Committee to Protect Journalists, an advocacy group that promotes press freedom worldwide and co-hosted Wednesday night's event, named Trump as the worst world leader when it comes to "undermining global press freedom."
"Authorities in China, Syria, and Russia have adopted Trump's 'fake news' epithet, and [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan has applauded at least one of his verbal attacks on journalists," the CPJ wrote. "As Trump and other Western powers fail to pressure the world's most repressive leaders into improving the climate for press freedom, the number of journalists in prison globally is at a record high."