Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald tore into CNN’s former White House correspondent Jim Acosta on Thursday after the CNN anchor appeared to discredit the Inspector General’s report that debunks the widespread narrative surrounding Lafayette Square and President Trump last summer.
Acosta aired his grievances with Interior Department Inspector General Mark Greenblatt on Thursday’s episode of “New Day,” questioning his credibility as a Trump appointee.
Greenblatt earlier this week released a report concluding that the former president played no role in the clearing of protesters outside Lafayette Park last June, tempering accusations that Trump had ordered the directive to score a bible-touting photo opportunity.
IG: POLICE DID NOT CLEAR LAFAYETTE SQUARE SO TRUMP COULD POSE FOR BIBLE PHOTO
“I have to say, when I read through this report, it sounded as if this inspector general was auditioning to become the inspector general at Mar-A-Lago because this is almost a whitewash of what occurred on June 1st,” Acosta told his audience.
Greenwald wasted little time firing back at the CNN poster child, who he accused of “attacking and maligning the reputation of a well-respected career civil servant”
“CNN and @Acosta attacking and maligning the reputation of a well-respected career civil servant who has served in multiple administrations because his investigation proved that CNN and Acosta peddled outright fabrications (yet again) for weeks,” he said. “Rather than admit it, they smear.”
Greenblatt held several lower government positions during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama years before he was promoted to inspector general by Trump in 2019.
Despite his credentials, Acosta said he found Greenblatt’s investigation insufficient, claiming that he failed to speak with key sources.
“According to the inspector general’s report, they did not speak to senior White House officials, they did not speak to the Secret Service, so this certainly raises more questions,” he argued.
Acosta maintained that Trump “had this intention to use the clearing of the park to stage this photo opportunity, even if that was not the original intent of the Park Police.”
The report was celebrated by Trump in a statement Thursday, where he thanked Greenblatt “for Completely and Totally exonerating me in the clearing of Lafayette Park!”
On June 1, 2020, Trump made headlines for walking through a recently cleared area in front of the White House to pose for a picture in front of St. John’s Church while holding a Bible after the church was set on fire amid protests for the death of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter.
Groups like Black Lives Matters and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) later sued Trump and his Attorney General Bill Barr for forcefully removing protestors from the square.
But the investigation released by the Interior Department inspector general states the U.S. Park Police and the U.S. Secret Service concluded it was necessary to remove protestors from the park on June 1 in order to install anti-scale fencing. The decision was reached after at least 49 U.S. Park Police (USPP) were injured while policing the protests that took place from May 30 – 31.
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Federal police officials did not learn of the president’s “potential” plan to walk through the park until hours after the operational strategy to erect the fence had been laid out.
“The evidence we obtained did not support a finding that the USPP cleared the park to allow the president to survey the damage and walk to St. John’s Church,” the report said.
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.