Trump ended the exchange by insulting Acosta, calling him a "rude bad person", and saying that when CNN reports "fake news", they are the "enemy of the people".
White House staffers decide whether journalists are eligible, though the Secret Service determines whether their applications are approved.
"The most risky type of fake news and reporting and evidence is when you get into the fine details, the nuanced things that are shaped to present a certain viewpoint or decision or news a certain way", he said. In an explanation, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders lied.
"Yes, the White House press office is sharing a manipulated video that makes it appear that Acosta was menacing the intern when he was not and did not".
Sanders said the suspension of his press credentials stemmed from his "placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern".
Twitter users broke down the clip Sanders shared, comparing it with other clips of the incident captured by news cameras, turning it into something akin to 2018's Zapruder film. "Having said that, I am troubled by pulling the hard pass because-you can argue he was a jerk and he deserves it, but obviously at a certain point you begin to wonder ... We will not tolerate the inappropriate behaviour clearly documented in this video". An eyewitness account from a Reuters reporter also challenges the White House claim.
CNN's Acosta is no Cronkite.
When NBC reporter Peter Alexander took the mic for the next question, he defended Mr Acosta as a "diligent reporter" - earning Mr Trump's ire. "Jim Acosta has certainly does that and this is a moments that not just all reporters but all Americans should be really concerned about and stand together against".
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"What I saw was a battery, not by Jim Acosta, but by the young White House aide", she said.
The White House, meanwhile, said it stands by its decision.
You and I disagree on this, ' Trump said.
The action was the first time the White House had explicitly banned a reporter, but it isn't a new exercise for Trump, whose campaign in 2016 denied credentials to a host of reporters and some news organizations, including The Washington Post, Politico and the Huffington Post, after coverage it disliked. "The intern reached over Acosta to grab the microphone while he was trying to ask another q and Acosta tried to pull away", Haberman wrote.
Why Trump even called on Acosta, whose reporting he has long complained about, is unclear.
In response, CNN said "this president's ongoing attacks on the press have gone too far", in a statement.