US President Donald Trump has expressed his sympathies over the shooting death of controversial CNN reporter Jim Acosta.
Mr Acosta was shot dead by an unknown assailant while walking in the grounds of the heavily guarded presidential retreat Camp David in Maryland where Mr Trump and his staff were also taking a break.
At an emergency media briefing at Camp David, the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders explained what was known about the incident so far.
“I had invited Jim to Camp David and he arrived by Marine helicopter from Washington this morning,” Ms Huckabee Sanders (pictured arriving at the briefing) told reporters.
“I asked Jim to come here to discuss his recent abusive and disrespectful behaviour towards the President and his violent physical assault of a West Wing intern at a White House news conference.
“I asked him to go with me on a walk in the woods so I changed into the casual hiking gear I’m still wearing as I speak to you.
“I was not far behind him on a trail in the woods when the Pres… I mean, when he was shot.
“The shoelace on one of my casual hiking shoes had come undone and I stopped to tie it up but urged Jim to keep walking.
“I suggested he walk further on to a clearing in the woods where I would meet up with him. He did so and the next thing I heard when he reached the brightly lit clearing were the shots that killed him.”
When asked about President Trump’s whereabouts at the time of the shooting, Ms Huckabee Sanders said Mr Trump had been hunting with Camp David staff not far from the scene of the killing.
This was confirmed by a message and photo (pictured) the President sent out on his Twitter feed around the time of the shooting: “Such sad news about Jim Acosta I’m about to hear in a few minutes. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Ms Huckabee Sanders refused to be drawn on how anyone other than authorised personnel would have gained access to the heavily guarded compound.
“There are no suspects at this stage, but clearly everything will point to it being the work of illegal immigrants who crossed the Mexican border, Muslim terrorists let into the USA by the Democrats, the crooked Clintons, or a jealous rival of Jim’s in the fake news industry,” she said.
The media briefing ended immediately after that comment when a reporter remarked that Ms Huckabee Sanders’s hiking shoes had no laces.