CNN Wins Court Order Restoring White House Reporter’s Access

President Donald Trump is obliged to restore White House access to the CNN reporter Jim Acosta for now, a federal judge ruled while questioning the administration’s account of its actions, Bloomberg informed.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly’s decision is a rebuke to Trump as he tries to recover from losses in midterm congressional elections. It furthers a portrait of a president overstepping his authority to settle personal scores and carries extra sting because it was issued by a judge the President appointed.

The ruling comes amid Trump’s escalating feud with the media and, more specifically, with CNN, which he’s derided as a purveyor of fake news. Other networks, including FOX News, rallied around their competitor this week in defense of their First Amendment right to cover the President.

The decision to revoke Acosta’s pass is so “shrouded in mystery” that the government couldn’t say who made it, Kelly said in court. “I will order defendants to immediately restore Acosta’s hard pass.”

CNN’s parent, AT&T, now has two legal wins over the President. Earlier this year, the company prevailed in court over Trump’s Justice Department to gain approval to buy CNN’s former owner, Time Warner Inc.

“We are gratified with this result and we look forward to a full resolution in the coming days,” CNN said in a statement. “Our sincere thanks to all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press.”

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that the White House will comply and reinstate Acosta’s pass. But she said the court made clear there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House.

“We will also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future,” Sanders said. “There must be decorum at the White House.”

White House Says It Will Restore CNN Reporter’s Pass Temporarily

Kelly read his decision from the bench two days after hearing arguments from attorneys for the President and the network. At issue was whether U.S. Constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press and due process overcome the President’s ability to decide who has access to the White House.

The judge said the White House violated Acosta’s due process rights by revoking his pass without first explaining its actions, doing so only after it had acted, and even then inconsistently. He didn’t address the First Amendment claim.

President Trump told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that he will kick CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta out of press conferences if he “misbehaves” going forward after a federal judge temporarily restored his press pass.

Trump sat down with the “Fox News Sunday” host on Friday for a wide-ranging discussion – the first time Wallace has interviewed Trump since he took office. Wallace pointed out that a federal judge ruled earlier Friday that the White House must reinstate Acosta’s press credential.

“Yeah, its fine, I mean it’s not a big deal. What they said, though, is that we have to create rules and regulations for conduct etc. etc. We’re doing that, were going to write them up right now. It’s not a big deal and if he misbehaves, we’ll throw him out or we’ll stop the news conference,” Trump said.

Wallace asked what rules the administration would put in place going forward after U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly declared that Acosta should be allowed back in the White House.

“We’re writing them now. We’ll have rules of decorum, you know you can’t keep asking questions. We had a lot of reporters in that room, many many reporters in that room and they were unable to ask questions because this guy gets up and starts, you know, doing what he’s supposed to be doing for him and for CNN and you know just shouting out questions and making statements, too,” Trump said.

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