White House Reportedly Backtracks, Will Not Seek Revocation of Jim Acosta’s Credential

by Garry Watts November 20, 2018, 1:32
White House Reportedly Backtracks, Will Not Seek Revocation of Jim Acosta’s Credential

On 19 November, CNN requested holding an emergency hearing at a US District Court on the case of its correspondent Jim Acosta after the White House notified him that his press pass would be revoked again by the end of November, The Hill reported.

But in the letter, the White House said that at future press conferences each reporter would be limited to a single question, with follow-up questions permitted at the discretion of the President or staff.

"Having received a formal reply from your counsel to our letter of November 16, we have made a final determination in this process: your hard pass is restored", the White House said in a letter to Acosta on Monday afternoon and published by CNN.

White House officials Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Bill Shine sent Acosta a letter explaining his status. Trump responded by branding Acosta a "rude, awful person".

It was widely believed earlier on Monday that the White House would again attempt to ban Acosta from the White House after legal threats were exchanged in a series of emails and court filings. Not only newsmen and the publications for which they write, but also the public at large have an interest protected by the first amendment in assuring that restrictions on newsgathering be no more arduous than necessary, and that individual newsmen not be arbitrarily excluded from sources of information... His hard pass was revoked later that day. Lawyers for CNN responded Monday by filing for an emergency hearing the week after Thanksgiving, "or as soon thereafter as possible".

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Dan Gainor of Media Research Center says Acosta is already getting on his colleagues' nerves - although publicly they all say they support his antics. "We are mindful that a more elaborate and comprehensive set of rules might need to be devised, including, for example, for journalist conduct in the open (non-press room) areas inside and outside the White House and for Air Force One", she continued.

Kelly himself emphasized on Friday that he wasn't ruling on the First Amendment issue (yet), only the due process issue, so it's understandable that people would focus on that part of it.

A preliminary injunction could be in effect for much longer than the temporary restraining order, thereby protecting Acosta's access to the White House.

Mr Trump erupted into anger during a news conference when Acosta questioned him about the so-called migrant caravan travelling through Mexico and about an ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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