President Donald Trump struck back at a black female reporter's question about his calling himself "nationalist" as "emboldening white nationalists", calling it a "racist question", "insulting", and "very awful".
Trump told Acosta to sit down and demanded someone take away his microphone.
Speaking on CNN on Wednesday shortly after being forced to turn in his pass, Acosta adamantly denied the White House's allegations. "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", Sanders tweeted Wednesday, adding that "This conduct is absolutely unacceptable" and that Trump "has given the press more access than any president in history".
Eventually Trump had to walk away from the microphone because Acosta wouldn't stop creating a spectacle.
Looking back at Acosta, Trump added: "The way you treat [press secretary] Sarah Huckabee is terrible, and the way you treat other people is awful".
"[Trump] came out right after his inauguration and said his inauguration crowds were bigger than President Obama's, when they weren't", Acosta previously said in a CNN segment.
Trump, however, tried to cut the journalist short before ultimately responding, "CNN should be ashamed of itself having you work for them". "When the president of the United States calls the press "fake news" and 'the enemy of the American people, ' I think that's when you have to get tough and ask the hard questions".
Loss of US House leaves Republicans more tied to Trump than ever
The biggest upset of the night so far has come in Oklahoma's 5th District, where non-profit director Kendra Horn defeated GOP Rep. Opposition to Trump proved to be more a motivating factor for Democrats than support for the president a factor for Republicans.
However, she is unsuccessful as the reporter manages to keep hold of the microphone, telling her: "Pardon me, ma'am".
An association representing the Washington press corps urged the White House to immediately reverse "this weak and misguided action".
"You run CNN. And if you did it well, your ratings will be much higher".
Of the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation that has shadowed his administration for more than 18 months, Mr Trump said, "I could end it right now" but "I let it go on". "Secret Service just informed me I can not enter the grounds for my 8 pm hit", Acosta tweeted Wednesday evening. CNN's Ali Velshi tweeted his support, writing, "I worked with Jim @Acosta during my years @CNN".
'That's enough, Put down the mike, ' Trump told him. He said she was rude for interrupting another reporter, though he did briefly answer one of Ryan's questions.
Trump hits out at "grandstanding" RepublicansVideo 0:56 Mr Trump says voters have rebuked Senate Democrats. "You and I have a difference of opinion".
These weren't the only reporters to grate on the president at this press conference, though.