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Exclusive — Dr. Anthony Fauci received a call from CNN’s Jim Acosta that created an “awkward moment” at a key COVID meeting in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, according to former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.

In an excerpt from his new book, “Breaking History: A White House Memoir,” obtained by Fox News Digital, Kushner recalled an incident in 2020 when Fauci was interrupted by a call from CNN’s then-chief White House correspondent.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, Fauci’s phone rang as he sat in my office. We both looked down and saw the caller’s name: Jim Acosta, the president’s main antagonist at the usually negative news network CNN. Neither of us recognized the awkward moment, but it stuck in my mind,” Kushner wrote.

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Former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner's new book, "Breaking History: A White House Memoir," It hits stores on August 23.

Former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner’s new book, “Breaking History: A White House Memoir,” hits stores on August 23.

If journalists make frequent calls to newspapers as part of their job, calling anti-Trump reporter Fauci directly on his cell was enough to raise Kushner’s eyebrows.

The former senior White House adviser’s suggestion that Acosta was “the president’s arch-enemy” came after Acosta became notorious for asking questions, delivering on-air liberal editorials and clashing with Trump and other members of the administration. Trump famously sparred with Acosta on several occasions, calling him “fake news” and boosting his profile.

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Acosta was CNN’s chief White House reporter during the Trump era, but CNN fired him from the beat after President Biden took office. While in the White House, Acosta regularly cited anonymous sources to portray Trump negatively. For example, August On 5, 2020, he tweeted, “A source familiar with Trump’s meeting with his coronavirus task force in the Oval Office on Tuesday said the president is still not demonstrating that he has a solid understanding of the severity of the pandemic in the US. .”

Acosta now hosts a weekend show on CNN and is the network’s “domestic correspondent,” where he continues to keep his leftist politics a secret. For several months, Acosta linked to his own section and pinned a tweet calling Trump “an insult to clowns.”

CNN's Jim Acosta was once temporarily banned from the White House after engaging in a controversial back-and-forth with President Trump during a 2018 press conference, in which he briefly approached a female White House aide who was trying to take the microphone.

CNN’s Jim Acosta was once temporarily banned from the White House after engaging in a controversial back-and-forth with President Trump during a 2018 press conference, in which he briefly approached a female White House aide who was trying to take the microphone.
(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

In June, Acosta was identified by Axios as someone conservatives see as “the face of the network’s liberal shift” as CNN Chairman and CEO Chris Licht seeks to restore the organization’s nonpartisan approach to news. Licht is evaluating the entire network’s operations in the first months of his tenure.

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Many conservatives are weary of Fauci’s confirmation that he has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984 and has emerged as the face of government policies on COVID. He has become a controversial figure politically, receiving widely laudatory coverage in the press and from the left, but taking heat from the right over his mask and lockdown guidance.

Kushner’s memories were also dished out in an April 2020 exchange in which Fauci pushed back on Trump’s desire to reopen the country and end the COVID lockdowns.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden's chief medical adviser, has said he will retire from government work by 2025.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, has said he will retire from government work by 2025.
((AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) )

“On April 15, Trump called me into the Oval Office and told me he wanted to end the COVID-19 lockdown and reopen the economy the next day. He believed federal guidance to slow the spread was justified to flatten the curve. Building life-saving supplies, he thought, was temporary, and doctors wanted it to continue indefinitely. He believed that… in a meeting with the president the next day on April 16, Fauci strongly advised against a full reopening. Lives, he argued, and we should keep them as long as possible,” Kushner wrote. Fauci later announced that he would only “make medical recommendations” and make the final decision. The decision rests with the president.

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“Fauci was a shrewd politician and a smooth talker. No one rose to the top of a bureaucracy like the National Institutes of Health and lived through three and a half decades of six presidential administrations without self-promotion, outmaneuvering, and currying favor with the mighty,” Kushner wrote.

Fauci said he will retire this month before the end of President Biden’s term.

“Breaking History: A White House Memoir” hits stores on August 23.

Fox News’ Daniel Wallace contributed to this report.