The White House is not backing down over Jim Acosta’s press pass, and it plans to ban the reporter again once the current 14-day restraining order expires, CNN said Sunday.
Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, had his credentials suspended by the administration a few weeks ago after a heated exchange with the president and an aide at a press conference. It's the latest in a long pattern of animosity by the White House toward CNN, including the president retweeting an image of him with a crushed CNN logo on the sole of his shoe.
A judge ordered the White House to temporarily restore the press pass Friday while he weighed the case.
The White House complied but has since written to Acosta saying his pass will be suspended again once the judge’s order expires, CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter reported in his newsletter Sunday night.
The network said in a statement that the White House was “continuing to violate the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution.”
“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 correspondent was stripped of his pass following a fiery Nov. 7 press conference in which Donald Trump called Acosta a “rude, terrible person” following questions about the migrant caravan.
A press room aide tried unsuccessfully to take the microphone from Acosta, and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later tweeted a video of the incident that was doctored to create the illusion that Acosta used force against the aide.
CNN and Acosta sued the White House and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for the reinstatement of the credentials. U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly issued a 14-day restraining order Friday for the temporary reinstatement of the credentials, to allow the case to be heard in court.
While he didn’t rule on the underlying case, Kelly said the Trump administration had likely violated CNN and Acosta’s Fifth Amendment rights, and that Acosta’s First Amendment rights outweighed the Trump administration’s right to orderly press conferences.
Even Fox News, Trump’s go-to news source, has criticized the White House’s handling of the case, issuing a statement of support for the rival network.
Government lawyers have argued the move is not an infringement on the First Amendment because CNN has other reporters who can cover the White House, and that Acosta doesn’t need to be physically present in the White House complex to do the job if he continues in the role.
The parties are expected to file status reports Monday outlining how they plan to proceed in the case.
Cover image: A White House intern reaches for and tries to take away the microphone held by CNN correspondent Jim Acosta as he questions U.S. President Donald Trump during a news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 7, 2018. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)