CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta claimed Tuesday that the White House staff had been reduced to “Kool-aid drinkers and next of kin.”
Acosta spoke with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper following President Donald Trump’s Rose Garden speech and press conference, which they both characterized as more of a campaign-style speech. (RELATED: ‘Gotta Let Me Finish, Jim, This Isn’t A Cable News Segment’: Kayleigh McEnany Chastises CNN’s Acosta For Interrupting)
Referring to Trump’s press conference as “the rally in the Rose Garden,” Cooper posed the question to Acosta.
“I think I know the answer of this,” Cooper prefaced, adding, “There seems like there is no one around the president, Mark Meadows, the Chief of Staff is new. He came in, I guess, some people thought there would be some change right now which seems to be rearranging, is there anyone around the president who shakes their head when they hear rambling in the rose garden like this?”
“No, Anderson we’re down to Kool-aid drinkers and next of kin,” Acosta replied. “There are no more adults that will level with the president and tell him he can’t deliver a rally-like-rant in the rose garden as he did earlier.”
Acosta then explained that the way the Rose Garden speech had been like a rally was the way President Trump had infused “the lies, the myths” that he typically takes on the campaign trail.
“What he essentially did in the White House Rose Garden is transform one of the last places any presidential administration is supposed to be sort of removed from politics and plunged it head first into a cesspool of campaign politicking,” Acosta continued.
Acosta went on to accuse Trump of “checking the boxes” that he might check at a rally — such as illegal immigration and attacks on hunter Biden — and making “magical claims” about how he planned to finish the wall at the southern border.
So no, Anderson, getting to your question, there isn’t anyone to reign him in and make sure he doesn’t do that in the Rose Garden,” Acosta concluded. “They told us it would be a press conference. The White House said he’s having a press conference in the Rose Garden. He spoke and went on a rambling tirade for 53 minutes and took ten minutes of questions.”