During the exchange, Acosta asked Trump about his claim that there was an impending invasion by people in the refugee caravan. Trump attempted to dodge the question, but Acosta persisted -- respectfully -- and Trump went off.
"You know what? Honestly, I think you should let me run the country. You run CNN," Trump fired back at Acosta at the first sign of tension. "If you did it well, your ratings would be much better."
POTUS tried to move on to the next reporter's question, but Acosta still had the mic and said, "Mr. President, if I may ask one other question--"
"That's enough! That's enough. That's enough. Excuse me? That's enough," POTUS said repeatedly, pointing at Acosta. A White House aide attempted to take the mic from Acosta, but he refused to give it up.
"Mr. President, I had one other question about the Russia investigation. Are you concerned that--" Acosta managed to say before Trump let out, "I'm not concerned about anything with the Russian investigation because it's a hoax. That's enough. Put down the mic."
Trump then walked away from the podium to collect himself, only to return and say, "I'll tell you what -- CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn't be working for CNN. You're a very rude person. The way you treat Sarah Huckabee [Sanders] is horrible. And the way you treat other people [is] horrible. You shouldn't treat people that way."
The next person to ask a question was NBC's Peter Alexander, who defended Acosta. "I think that's very unfair," Alexander said. "In Jim's defense, I've traveled with him and watched him. He's a diligent reporter who busts his butt like the rest of us."
Trump replied, "Well, I'm not a big fan of yours, either."
We were left speechless, but Hollywood was not. See their reactions -- and the exchange -- in the tweets below.
I worked with Jim @Acosta during my years @CNN. He's dogged and determined and a credit to his profession. His job is to hold power to account, not to be “nice” to the President or anyone else he covers.