Former Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York City has asserted that President-elect Donald Trump was justified in refusing a question from a reporter during his latest press conference. In Giuliani's view, Trump is engaged in a battle with the press that he should win (video below).
On Jan. 12, Giuliani stated that he believed that Trump behaved appropriately during his war of words with CNN reporter Jim Acosta a day beforehand.
"It is refreshing and it is very good for our democracy that we have a president that is trying to get us back to a free press," Giuliani told Fox News.
On Jan. 11, Trump refused to take a question from Acosta during his first press conference since July 2016.
The verbal altercation occurred a day after CNN had reported that both Trump and President Barack Obama had been briefed on an unverified intelligence report alleging that the Russian government held compromising information on the president-elect, according to Politico.
When Trump blasted the news network for reporting on the story, Acosta interrupted him to ask a question.
"Your organization is terrible," Trump responded. "I am not going to give you a question. You are fake news."
The president-elect also derided Buzzfeed News, which had published the dossier containing explosive but unverified allegations against him, as "a pile of garbage."
Giuliani believes that Trump was right to refuse Acosta a question, and suggested that his attitude towards journalists is productive.
"He knows exactly what he wants to accomplish," Giuliani said of Trump. "He cannot be intimidated. He's an honest man, so they're not going to catch him in some kind of lie, and he's got the courage to fight them back."
The former mayor concluded that Trump "may actually reestablish journalistic ethics."
Giuliani had been one of Trump's most vocal advocates during the 2016 presidential race. On Jan. 12, the Trump transition team announced that the former mayor had been tapped to head a team of cybersecurity advisers for the incoming administration.
On Jan. 11, Fox News host Shepard Smith defended Acosta and CNN against Trump's assertion that they were peddling fake news.
"CNN's exclusive reporting on the Russian matter was separate and distinctly different from the document dump executed by an online news property," Smith said.
The Fox News host added "it is our observation that its correspondents followed journalistic standards and that neither they nor any other journalists should be subjected to belittling and delegitimizing by the president-elect of the United States."