The White House is once again threatening to revoke the press credentials of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta. CNN reported late Sunday that the threatened action would take place when a court-ordered temporary restoration of Acosta’s press pass expires at the end of November.
CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter reported:
“Friday’s court ruling means that a temporary restraining order is in effect for 14 days. But [White House] officials sent Acosta a letter stating that his press pass is set to be suspended again once the restraining order expires.”
In trying to fight the suspension CNN argued that the proposed White House action would threaten “all journalists and news organizations.”
“The White House is continuing to violate the First and 5th Amendments of the Constitution,” the network said in a statement provided to Stelter. “These actions threaten all journalists and news organizations. Jim Acosta and CNN will continue to report the news about the White House and the President.”
The White House revoked Acosta’s press credentials after a contentious exchange with President Trump during a news conference in which he refused to yield the microphone as he was requested to do.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly ruled on Friday that CNN’s request to restore Acosta’s hard press pass would be granted. Kelly issued a 14-day temporary injunction that expires on November 30th.
Kelly’s ruling said that only Acosta’s Fifth Amendment rights to due process were violated, and did not go beyond that. He did not rule on whether Acosta’s First Amendment rights were also violated.
“I want to emphasize the very limited nature of this ruling,” Kelly, a Trump appointee, said on Friday.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement saying officials would “temporarily” reinstate Acosta’s hard pass following the ruling, setting the stage for another possible revocation.
“Today, the court made clear that there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House,” Sanders said. “In response to the court, we will temporarily reinstate the reporter’s hard pass. We will also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future.”
Trump told Fox News’s Chris Wallace in an interview that aired Sunday morning that the ruling wasn’t “a big deal.” He also warned that if Acosta “misbehaves” again, “we’ll throw him out” or end the press conference altogether.
“Yeah, it’s fine, I mean it’s not a big deal,” Trump told Wallace. “What they said, though, is that we have to create rules and regulations for conduct etc. etc. We’re doing that, were going to write them up right now. It’s not a big deal and if he misbehaves, we’ll throw him out or we’ll stop the news conference.”
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.