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CNN’s Acosta complains of White House threat

CNN’s Jim Acosta said Sarah Sanders told him that if he asked President Trump a question, ‘‘she could not promise that I would be allowed into a pool spray again.’’
Alex Brandon/Associated Press
CNN’s Jim Acosta said Sarah Sanders told him that if he asked President Trump a question, ‘‘she could not promise that I would be allowed into a pool spray again.’’

NEW YORK — CNN’s Jim Acosta says he was warned by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders not to ask a question during President Trump’s bill signing ceremony Tuesday, further evidence of sour relations between the network and the administration.

Acosta said Sanders told him that if he asked Trump a question, ‘‘she could not promise that I would be allowed into a pool spray again.’’

Sanders did not immediately return a request for comment Tuesday.

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He was one of a handful of reporters allowed into the event, which has limited space, as part of a ‘‘pool’’ where they act as surrogates for the entire press corps. He asked a question anyway, about a Trump tweet in which the president claimed New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand begged him for campaign contributions and would ‘‘do anything’’ for them. Acosta’s question went unanswered.

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‘‘We don’t respond to threats,’’ he said on CNN later. ‘‘We’re not going to be intimidated.’’

Trump has repeatedly derided CNN as ‘‘fake news,’’ his ire driven over the past few days over an error that CNN made during a story last week about the investigation into collusion with Russia during the presidential campaign. Acosta and Sanders had a contentious exchange during Monday’s White House press briefing.