Sorry, Donald Trump: You have to let CNN reporter Jim Acosta back in the White House. CNN reports that a federal judge ruled in its favor Friday by ordering the White House to reinstate Acosta’s press pass.
“Let’s get back to work,” said Acosta, who has covered Trump as a chief correspondent since his election in 2016.
CNN sued President Trump and several aides after his hard pass to the White House was yanked in the wake of a testy exchange during a press conference. Acosta refused to give up a mic to an aide while attempting to elicit comments about the migrant caravan and the Russia investigation. The White House yanked his press pass the next day, which the cable network alleged was a violation of Acosta’s First and Fifth Amendment rights.
In court, Justice Department lawyer James Burnham claimed the White House had the legal right to boot a reporter at any time. Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly reportedly said he made his ruling on CNN’s Fifth Amendment claims and said the White House did not provide Acosta with due process. But he left open the possibility that Trump could revoke Acosta’s press pass again, if due process was given.
Acosta is expected to resume reporting from the White House later today. Meanwhile, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was quoted by CNN as saying, “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.”
After Acosta’s pass was yanked, the White House Correspondents’ Association called it “dangerous.” “If the President were to have the absolute discretion to strip a correspondent of a hard pass, the chilling effect would be severe and the First Amendment protections afforded journalists to gather and report news on the activities on the President would be largely eviscerated.”