White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted on Wednesday that Acosta's media pass had been revoked because the White House can not tolerate a reporter "placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern".
Fleischer, who served in former President George W. Bush's administration and is now a Fox News contributor, said Thursday on "American's Newsroom" that the White House should not have revoked Acosta's press pass over the "physical contact" shown in various videos.
But White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders claimed that Acosta had "placed his hands" on an intern who had attempted to take the microphone away from him.
The sparring started after Acosta asked Trump about the caravan of migrants heading from Latin America to the southern USA border. Mr. Acosta stated his opinion that the caravan wasn't an "invasion", as Mr. Trump has asserted, instead of asking a question. She's gets publicity, and then she gets a pay raise and a contract with I think CNN.
So, it was understandable when the media and people around the world demanded an explanation for why Acosta was being barred from the White House and the obvious repercussions it could have for freedom of the press, government transparency and our democracy itself.
Trump also told April Ryan of the Urban National Radio Network to "sit down" and wait her turn. Acosta's pass was revoked by the administration after he refused to give up the microphone during a Wednesday press conference in which Trump called him "a rude, bad person".
"She's very nasty", the president said.
The president said he had not decided if Acosta's pass would be reinstated and he suggested there "could be others" who lose their credentials.
The edited version has been shared by White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders. "You shouldn't be working for CNN".
Ms Sanders shared the video on Twitter, saying: "We stand by our decision to revoke this individual's hard pass". Trump said of the incident Friday that Acosta "was not nice to that young woman".
A number of prominent journalism advocacy groups have come to Acosta's defense and called for an immediate restoration of his press pass.
Sanders "provided fraudulent accusations and cited an incident that never happened", the U.S. cable network said. When you're in the White House, this is a very sacred place to be.
Phillip and Ryan are two of a small number of African American women who cover the White House. "I do think that they're trying to shut us down to some extent, inside the White House press corps".
"Others try to get the president. I will continue to ask the questions that affect America, all of America".
Eventually NBC reporter Peter Alexander took the microphone and defended his fellow reporter, despite him being from a separate network, calling him a "diligent reporter" - which only proved to anger Trump more.