6:37 PM PT -- CNN has come to the defense of Acosta, saying the White House's actions are a threat to our democracy and calling Sanders a liar.
In a statement, CNN said the Trump Administration's decision to strip Acosta's press credential "was done in retaliation for his challenging questions at today's press conference. In an explanation, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders lied. She provided fraudulent accusations and cited an incident that never happened. This unprecedented decision is a threat to our democracy and the country deserves better."
5:03 PM PT -- The White House has pulled Acosta's press credential. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a series of tweets, saying, "President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern."
She continues, "Contrary to CNN’s assertions there is no greater demonstration of the President’s support for a free press than the event he held today. Only they would attack the President for not supporting a free press in the midst of him taking 68 questions from 35 different reporters."
Finally, she says, "The fact that CNN is proud of the way their employee behaved is not only disgusting, it‘s an example of their outrageous disregard for everyone, including young women, who work in this Administration. As a result of today’s incident, the White House is suspending the hard pass of the reporter involved until further notice."
Donald Trump went for the jugular Wednesday ... calling a CNN reporter unfit for his job and a "terrible person" ... and it didn't end there.
CNN reporter Jim Acosta asked Trump during a news conference about the President's claim there was an impending invasion by people in the refugee caravan.
It got hot almost immediately ... Acosta pressed Trump, and POTUS erupted in anger.
The President tried to shut Acosta down, ordering him to put his mic down, but the next person to ask a question was NBC's Peter Alexander, who defended Acosta. That further infuriated the President.
And, it didn't end there. American Urban Radio Networks correspondent April Ryan tried to ask a question and Trump rudely shut her down.
And then, there's Yamiche Alcindor from PBS NewsHour, who asked Trump about his comment during the campaign that he's a nationalist. When she said that seemed to embolden white nationalists, Trump said she was asking racist questions.
BTW ... another amazing moment -- Trump was asked if he'd comply with the inevitable demand by the House to release his tax returns, and the Prez essentially said it was too complicated for Congress to understand.