Jim Acosta says only 'Kool-Aid drinkers and next of kin' remain at Trump White House

CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta joined Anderson Cooper 360 on Tuesday where he railed against those closest to President Trump after the president gave a long, meandering speech in the Rose Garden just a short time earlier. In what was supposed to be a press conference, according to Acosta, Trump spent 53 minutes talking and only ten minutes taking questions. Among Trump’s talking points were Joe Biden, Democrats, China and the coronavirus. Many in the media, including Fox News anchor Bret Baier, claimed Trump’s performance in the Rose Garden more resembled a campaign rally speech than a press conference.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

ANDERSON COOPER: Is there anyone around the president who shakes their head when they hear him rambling in the Rose Garden like this?

JIM ACOSTA: Oh, no, Anderson. We are down to Kool-Aid drinkers and next of kin here at the Trump White House. There are no more adults who will level with the president.

- CNN's Jim Acosta slammed President Trump's White House staff Tuesday, following a Rose Garden press conference that became more like a campaign rally in which Trump spoke about Joe Biden, and the democrats, China, and the coronavirus.

DONALD TRUMP: We saved tens of thousands of lives, but we actually saved millions of lives by closing. By closing up, we saved millions, potentially millions of lives. Could be a number that we're actually working on, but it could be two to three million lives.

- The Biden campaign slammed Trump's actions on Tuesday. And even Fox news's Bret Baier condemned Trump's speech. But Acosta doesn't believe there's anyone at the White House who can prevent this from becoming the norm.

JIM ACOSTA: There aren't any adults to rein him in to make sure that he doesn't do what he did in that Rose Garden earlier this evening. And what I think we're left with for the rest of this campaign cycle is the president using the Rose Garden like a rally space.

- And Acosta blamed White House staff for intentionally misleading the press.

JIM ACOSTA: What we saw tonight was a bait and switch. They told us it was going to be a press-- the White House put out a press release that said, he's having a press conference in the Rose Garden. He spoke. He went on that rambling tirade for 53 minutes and then took 10 minutes of questions.

- CNN and others cut away from Trump's Rose Garden press conference once it devolved into a rally-like speech. And Acosta explained why that too could become the norm.

JIM ACOSTA: One of the reasons why the rallies aren't covered as much anymore is because the president can't be relied upon to tell the truth at those kinds of events.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

More From