In the wake of a lawsuit following the banning of CNN’s Jim Acosta from White House press conferences, President Trump fired back at the disgraced correspondent again, destroying him as a journalist.
The revoking of Acosta’s hard pass to the White House came after a pattern of activist-like behavior toward Trump came to a head the day after the midterm elections. Instead of asking questions of the president, like everyone else at the post-election press conference presumably wanted to do, Acosta started out by arguing with him.
After Trump answered his initial questions and tried to give the next reporter a turn, CNN’s chief White House correspondent refused to hand over the microphone and even manhandled a female intern who was trying to take it from him. Even after finally giving up the mic, Acosta continued to yell at the president as another journalist tried to ask Trump questions.
Acosta was barred later that evening. CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, claiming that Acosta’s constitutional rights had been violated.
"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,” CNN said in a statement of its own. “We have asked the court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass to be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process."
Fox News even joined the lawsuit, saying in a statement that “Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized. 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.”
But White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders fired back, pointing out that, “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.”
“The White House cannot run an orderly and fair press conference when a reporter acts this way, which is neither appropriate nor professional,” she added. “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.
Now Trump has fired back, too, in an exclusive interview with the Daily Caller.
“Jim Acosta is just somebody who gets up and grandstands, he doesn’t even know what he’s asking you half of the time,” the president said. “He was very rude to the young lady.”
“I really think that when you have guys like Acosta, I think they’re bad for the country.”
“He’s just an average guy who’s a grandstander who’s got the guts to stand up and shout,” he added.