Trump and Sarah Sanders now claim that Jim Acosta was banned because he refused to surrender his microphone. They have dropped the story about the intern being touched.
In a statement provided to PoliticusUSA, by the White House press pool, Sanders said:
We have been advised that CNN has filed a complaint challenging the suspension of Jim Acosta’s hard pass. This is just more grandstanding from CNN, and we will vigorously defend against this lawsuit.
CNN, who has nearly 50 additional hard pass holders, and Mr. Acosta is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment. After Mr. Acosta asked the President two questions—each of which the President answered—he physically refused to surrender a White House microphone to an intern, so that other reporters might ask their questions. This was not the first time this reporter has inappropriately refused to yield to other reporters.
The White House cannot run an orderly and fair press conference when a reporter acts this way, which is neither appropriate nor professional. The First Amendment is not served when a single reporter, of more than 150 present, attempts to monopolize the floor. If there is no check on this type of behavior it impedes the ability of the President, the White House staff, and members of the media to conduct business.
Sanders and Trump are going to lose in court
The whole refusing to surrender the mic defense is not going to work in court. Acosta’s behavior at the press conference was no different than thousands of other reporters at White House events over the years. By the Trump/Sanders standard, nearly every journalist who has ever done a White House press conference should be banned.
The defenses that the White House keeps coming up with are getting more absurd by the moment. Acosta didn’t do anything wrong. His is only “crime” was working for CNN and aggressively challenging Trump.
Reporters can’t be banned for doing their jobs.
Trump and Sanders are going to lose in court. Their scrambling to invent a new defense reveals that they had no justification for banning Jim Acosta.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association