Published: Wed, November 14, 2018

CNN sues over barring of reporter, White House vows vigorous defence

CNN sues over barring of reporter, White House vows vigorous defence

The administration stripped Acosta of his pass to enter the White House following President Donald Trump's contentious news conference last week, where Acosta refused to give up a microphone when the president said he didn't want to hear anything more from him.

CNN has filed a lawsuit over Acosta losing his press credentials, and the White House has responded that it has some discretion when it comes to deciding which journalists are granted access to White House press events and which ones are not. We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court.

"Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized", the statement read.

"While we don't condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access, and open exchanges for the American people", Wallace's statement concluded.

But to CNN the White House press corps, the issue is bigger than Acosta.

"The White House can not run an orderly and fair press conference when a reporter acts this way, which is neither appropriate nor professional".

Hours later, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced Acosta's hard pass had been suspended, a rare if not unprecedented move that she justified by claiming the reporter was inappropriately "placing his hands" on the intern.


CNN demanded the return of its chief White House correspondent's press pass. Because it casts CNN and [network president] Jeff Zucker as kind of champions of the free press. The administration suspended Acosta's "hard pass", which provided expedited access to the White House grounds, after he broke protocol by refusing to surrender his microphone during a press conference last week.

CNN's lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday, argues President Trump and other White House officials violated Acosta's First and Fifth Amendment Rights.

According to Axios, the following news outlets are also joining the brief: The Associated Press, Bloomberg, First Look Media, Gannett, the New York Times, Politico, EW Scripps, USA Today Network, Washington Post, Press Freedom Defense Fund, and National Press Club.

"The First Amendment protects 'robust political debate, ' including speech that is critical of those who hold political office", CNN's attorney Ted Olson, a veteran Supreme Court litigator, said in a statement.

"I think this suit is more of a p.r. effort than a legal one", Kurtz said. Trump characterizes the caravan as "an invasion", a term to which Acosta objected.

Trump and Acosta faced off during a November 7 White House news conference. Later in the day, Acosta's credential was revoked. "Our news organizations support the fundamental constitutional right to question this president, or any president", the lawyers said in a statement. Acosta has also gotten into combative arguments with other members of the administration, including former Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller.

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