But as Acosta pressed on and Alexander stood there, Trump turned back to the CNN reporter.
Unedited video shows Acosta, who was attempting to question the president, gripping a microphone as a female intern tried to pry it away during the Wednesday event, and saying politely, "Excuse me, ma'am", as he maneuvered to keep his hold.
"The fact that CNN is proud of the way their employee behaved is not only disgusting, it's an example of their outrageous disregard for everyone, including young women, who work in this Administration", she said.
While many reporters joined in defending Acosta, several others were quick to point out that they felt he acted inappropriately, "embarrassing the profession".
Sanders said Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his administration. "This conduct is absolutely unacceptable", she said. "He was disrespectful to his colleagues in asking repeated questions and thereby making it harder for them to get in a question, and then the President of the United States told him to sit down and he refused, and he kept talking".
It also would not explain why press officers managing Wednesday's news conference asked the intern to try to wrestle the microphone away from Acosta, rather than just turning it off remotely from the board that controls the audio.More news: Pipe bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc scheduled for Election Day court hearing
Trump responded: "Well, I'm not a big fan of yours, either".
Additionally, Trump never attacked freedom of the press.
"I do think that they're trying to shut us down to some extent, inside the White House press corps".
"A free press is vital to democracy, and we stand behind Jim Acosta and his fellow journalists everywhere", the statement said. She went on to say that she, in general, doesn't like when men touch her without permission, but said what Acosta did was not assault. "Jim Acosta has our full support".
"The question is: did the reporter make contact or not?" she said in a statement.
Mashable has reached out to the White House for comment on the allegations surrounding the video Sanders shared.
It says: "These frames do not appear in the original C-SPAN footage, and appear to exaggerate the action of Acosta". One way to examine the situation is to consider how CNN and the New York Times would describe the incident if the reporter was from Fox News and the intern was from the Obama White House.
The intern attempted to grab the microphone from Acosta, who nevertheless tried to shout out one last question.