A federal judge ordered the Trump White House to immediately restore CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass.
“We are gratified with this result and we look forward to a full resolution in the coming days,” said CNN in a statement. “Our sincere thanks to all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press.”
The White House later responded to the judge’s ruling in a statement from press secretary Sarah Sanders.
“Today, the court made clear that there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House. 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. There must be decorum at the White House.”
In a surprising move, Fox News President Jay Wallace released a statement on Wednesday voicing his support for CNN’s lawsuit against the Trump administration for revoking Jim Acosta’s press credentials.
Fox also announced that it will file an amicus brief with the US District Court in support of CNN’s lawsuit.
“FOX News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential. We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court,” said Fox News in the statement.
“Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized,” the statement continued. “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.”
“The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process,” said CNN’s statement. “We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process.”
Meanwhile, on Fox News last week, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway accused CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta of “swiping away” at a “young woman” who attempted to take his microphone away during a verbal altercation with President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
“She was just doing her job, which was to reclaim the microphone that belongs to the federal government, and hand it to the next reporter,” Conway said.
“Obviously, I don’t think anybody should have, any young woman, particularly, should have someone swiping away at them, grabbing the microphone back,” she added. “That’s very unfortunate. I have talked to that young woman, she is very brave and just doing her job.”
Video of the incident, which can be seen below, shows Acosta attempting to keep the microphone away from the White House staffer, including saying “pardon me, ma’am” and pushing her arm down as she reached for the device.
There has been much controversy over just how much contact there was between Acosta and the aide, with the opinions varying from a light brush to a full-on assault.
Regardless of how severe the contact was, Acosta’s White House press credentials were revoked and he was not allowed to participate in press briefings prior to the judge’s decision.