A White House aide takes the microphone from CNN's Jim Acosta, during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018. A doctored video of this incident has gone around. (AP/Evan Vucci)

Jim Acosta's not off the hook yet: Trump says he will revoke CNN press pass again

The White House has told Jim Acosta that they plan on revoking his press pass once the restraining order expires


Matthew Rozsa
November 19, 2018 6:01PM (UTC)

UPDATE: The White House announced late on Monday that CNN correspondent Jim Acosta's press pass has been "restored." The network has since dropped its lawsuit against the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump is not going to let CNN's Jim Acosta keep his White House press pass without a fight.

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"If you thought the Trump administration would seek to settle CNN and Jim Acosta's lawsuit out of court... think again," CNN's Brian Stetler wrote on Sunday. "After CNN won a temporary restraining order on Friday, forcing the White House to restore his press pass for 14 days, White House officials sent Acosta a letter stating that his pass is set to be suspended again once the restraining order expires."

He added, "From the looks of the letter, the W.H. is trying to establish a paper trail that will empower the administration to boot Acosta again at the end of the month."

Stetler also include a statement from CNN regarding the Trump White House's actions toward Acosta.

"The White House is continuing to violate the First and 5th Amendments of the Constitution," CNN said in its statement. "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."

Prior to learning that CNN plans on revoking Acosta's press pass once the temporary restraining order expires, CNN lawyer Ted Boutrous told Stelter that the network hopes matters can be resolved without conflict but that they are willing to fight for Acosta's First Amendment rights if necessary.

"We want to just simply move forward and let CNN and Jim Acosta gather news and report it," Boutrous told Stetler on Friday. That said, he also insisted that the "very clear in terms of how these things should proceed and what the White House can and can't do" and that "we're ready to litigate as long as we have to, to protect these First Amendment rights, to ask the court to declare rules of the road going forward."

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When the court decision was issued in favor of CNN, a Justice Department spokeswoman issued a statement saying, "We are disappointed with the district court's decision. The President has broad authority to regulate access to the White House, including to ensure fair and orderly White House events and press conferences. We look forward to continuing to defend the White House's lawful actions."

Acosta's press pass was revoked during a press conference after the Republicans suffered major losses during the 2018 midterm elections. As Acosta insisted on asking Trump questions about the Russia scandal, Trump ordered him to put down the microphone.

"CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them," Trump told Acosta. "You are a rude, terrible person who should not be working for CNN."

He later added, "When you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people."


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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