White House told to return CNN reporter's pass

Media groups including Fox News joined CNN's legal battle Wednesday to restore Acosta's White House pass as the
Trump seeks to land blow against media in court fight with CNN

17 November, 2018

President Donald Trump says the White House is "writing up rules and regulations" for reporters after a judge ordered the administration to restore credentials for CNN reporter Jim Acosta.

Acosta said outside the courthouse: "I want to thank all of my colleagues in the press who supported us this week".

This was also granted on a limited basis and was not on First Amendment ground, but the Fifth Amendment's right to due process.

But the judge will rule on all of that later.

"Let's go back to work", White House correspondent Acosta said to reporters after the hearing.

On Friday afternoon (overnight NZT), more than 50 members of the White House press corps greeted Acosta as he strode through the northwest gate of the presidential compound.

CNN attorney Ted Boutrous called it a "great day for the First Amendment and for journalism" (although the First Amendment was not applied here). It disputed the government's claim that the president has "absolute, unbridled discretion to decide who can report from inside the White House".

But in court documents, the White House argued that the decision was make in order to preserve White House decorum and did not claim impropriety towards the intern.

A group of prominent news organizations have expressed support for CNN's lawsuit, including CNN competitor Fox News, which frequently provides favorable news coverage of Trump.

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Boutrous told the judge that Acosta was not given "due process" as he was not informed in advance that his credentials would be revoked, nor was he given a way to appeal the decision prior to being suddenly prevented from re-entering the grounds of the White House.

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

CNN argued that Acosta's pass was pulled because of Trump's animosity toward him and the network's coverage, an arbitrary decision in violation of the first and fifth amendments.

The outlets added, "It is imperative that independent journalists have access to the president and his activists, and that journalists are not barred for arbitrary reasons". Acosta's tedious furrowed-brow posturing and spotlight-hogging and his fixation on Trump's meanness to the press are all catnip to a president who loves nothing more than to tell his fans that that's what journalists are all about.

Trump just said there are "rules of decorum" and reporters can't keep asking questions.

Following the ruling, the White House said it would comply with the court order, and will "also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future".

When the intern came to take the microphone from him, Mr. Acosta refused to give it back, using his hand to chop at the woman's elbow to prevent her from controlling the microphone.

He found that Acosta was "irreparably harmed" and dismissed the government's argument that CNN could send another reporter in Acosta's place to cover the White House.

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