Jim Acosta

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Jim Acosta
Jim Acosta (24877620009) crop.jpg
Acosta in February 2016
Born Abilio James Acosta
(1971-04-17) April 17, 1971 (age 47)
Residence Washington, D.C.
Nationality American
Alma mater James Madison University
Occupation Journalist
Employer CNN
Known for Chief White House Correspondent for CNN
Spouse(s) Sharon Mobley Stow (m. 1994; div. 2017)
Children 2
Website CNN.com biography

Abilio James "Jim" Acosta (born April 17, 1971) is an American journalist who is the chief White House correspondent for CNN. Previously, Acosta served as the national political correspondent for CNN.

Early life and education

At age 11, Acosta's father arrived as a refugee from Cuba three weeks prior to the Cuban Missile Crisis and was raised in Virginia.[1] His mother is of Irish and Czech ancestry.[2] Acosta graduated from Annandale High School, a public senior high in Annandale, Virginia, in 1989. In 1993, he earned a bachelor's degree in mass communication, with a minor in political science, from James Madison University.[3][4] While in school, Acosta volunteered for WXJM, the student-run radio station.[5] He also worked as a reporter at WSVA, a local radio station.

Media career

Acosta began his professional career in radio, and his first job was with WMAL in Washington, D.C.. In 1994, Acosta left WMAL and entered television, working for WTTG-TV as a desk assistant. In 1995, Acosta moved in front of the camera, becoming a reporter and substitute anchor at WBIR-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee, and remained in that job until 1998.

From 1998 until 2000, Acosta worked as a reporter for KTVT-TV in Dallas. From 2000 until 2001, Acosta was a reporter for WBBM-TV in Chicago. From 2001 until 2003, Acosta worked as a correspondent for CBS News' Newspath service, based both in Dallas and Chicago. From February 2003 until March 2007, Acosta was a correspondent for CBS News and was based first in New York and then in Atlanta.[3]

At CBS News, Acosta covered the 2004 campaign of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, the Iraq War from Baghdad, and Hurricane Katrina. In April 2007, Acosta joined CNN.[3][4] During the following year, Acosta covered the 2008 presidential campaigns of Democratic candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, frequently appearing as an anchor of CNN's weekend political program, Ballot Bowl. Acosta later joined CNN's American Morning program as a correspondent and contributed to the network's coverage of the 2010 mid-term congressional election.

In February 2012, CNN promoted Acosta to the position of national political correspondent.[6] In his role as national political correspondent, Acosta was the network's lead correspondent in covering the 2012 presidential campaign of Republican nominee Mitt Romney. He was then the senior White House correspondent for CNN.[7] At a nationally televised news conference in November 2015, Acosta challenged President Obama on his administration's strategy for destroying the terrorist organization known as ISIS. "Why can't we take out these bastards," Acosta asked.[8]

In March 2016, Acosta traveled to Cuba to cover President Obama's historic trip to the island. At a rare news conference in Havana featuring both Obama and Cuban president Raúl Castro, Acosta pressed the Cuban leader on his country's human rights record.[9]

On January 9, 2018, Acosta was promoted to chief White House correspondent.[10]

President Trump press conferences

At a nationally televised news conference in May 2016, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called Acosta "a real beauty" for his reporting.[11] Interrupting Acosta, who asked Trump about his ability to deal with scrutiny, Trump said: "Excuse me, excuse me, I've watched you on TV. You're a real beauty."

During President-elect Trump's first press conference on January 11, 2017, Acosta attempted to ask a question to the President-elect regarding Russia. Trump, however, instead called on other reporters, denouncing Acosta and CNN as "fake news".[12]

On August 2, 2017, Acosta got into a heated debate at The White House's press conferences with White House senior policy advisor Stephen Miller over the Trump Administration's support for the RAISE Act.[13]

Acosta speaks about his experiences at Trump press conferences and rallies at San Jose State University in October 2018.

On August 2, 2018, shortly after Kaitlan Collins was banned from the official press conference by the White House[14] and a statement of President Trump that "FAKE NEWS media... is the enemy of the American People",[15][16][17] Acosta asked the press secretary of the White House Sarah Huckabee Sanders if she distances herself from that statement. She did not decline nor support that statement and argued over her own treatment by the media. Acosta was praised by many liberals and panned by many conservatives. This came in a wider context of critics by multiple entities (critic came by the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, IACHR) for attacks by President Trump on the free press.[18]

On November 7, 2018, Acosta was involved in a verbal altercation with President Trump during a White House press conference following the 2018 midterm elections.[19][20] "I will tell you that CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them", President Trump said. "You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN."[21]

Personal life

Acosta and his wife, Sharon Mobley Stow, a registered nurse, separated in 2017 after 24 years of marriage. They have one daughter (Hartley) and one son (Peter).[22][23]


  1. Jim Acosta, A reporter's personal journey to Cuba, CNN (March 20, 2016).
  2. Acosta, Jim (May 11, 2018). "This is my mom. Her parents were of Irish and Czech descent and "assimilated" quite well. They are buried at Arlington National Cemetery". Twitter.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "CNN Programs - Anchors/Reporters - Jim Acosta". Retrieved 19 April 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Monty - Publications from James Madison University Communications and Marketing - James Madison University". Retrieved 19 April 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "An Unanchored life". curiomagazine.org. 7 April 2012. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "CNN Promotes Jim Acosta to National Political Correspondent". Retrieved 19 April 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "CNN Ups Keilar, Acosta and Marsh, Shifts Yellin from White House to domestic Affairs". www.adweek.com. 20 August 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Griswold, Alex (16 November 2015). "CNN's Jim Acosta Grills Obama on ISIS: 'Why Can't We Take Out These Bastards?'". Mediaite. Retrieved 11 January 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. DeYoung, Karen; Eilperin, Juliet (21 March 2016). "Raúl Castro, Obama spar on human rights, Guantanamo, views of U.S. and Cuba". The Washington Post. Retrieved 11 January 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Seipel, Brooke (2018-01-09). "CNN's Jim Acosta promoted to chief White House correspondent". TheHill. Retrieved 2018-01-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Shafer, Jack (1 June 2016). "Donald Trump Is a 2-Year-Old. It's Time for the Press to Treat Him Like One". Politico Magazine. Retrieved 11 January 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Trump calls CNN 'fake news,' as channel defends its reporting on intelligence briefing". Retrieved 19 April 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Acosta vs. Miller: A lurking ideological conflict about the Statue of Liberty". Washington Post.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Kaitlan Collins: Row over CNN reporter's White House ban". www.bbc.co.uk. 2018-07-27. Retrieved 2018-07-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/832708293516632065
  16. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/02/17/trump-news-media-enemy-american-people/98065338/
  17. Katie Rogers (2018-08-02). "Are Journalists the Enemy of the People? Ivanka Trump Says They're Not". NY Times. Retrieved 2018-08-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Michael M. Grynbaum (2018-08-02). "CNN's Jim Acosta Challenges Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Then Makes a Quick Exit". NY Times. Retrieved 2018-08-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Trump unloads on CNN journalist Jim Acosta: 'You are a rude, terrible person'". NBC News. Retrieved 2018-11-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. C-SPAN (2018-11-07), Exchange between President Trump and CNN's Jim Acosta (C-SPAN), retrieved 2018-11-07<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Schwartz, Jason (November 7, 2018). "Trump shifts spotlight from midterms, escalating attacks on media". Politico. Retrieved November 7, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Johnson, Richard (July 24, 2017). "Recently separated CNN reporter is loving the single life". New York Post, Page Six.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Obituary: Reuben Johnson". Washington Post. January 15, 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links