White House threatens to suspend CNN reporter's pass again when order expires

In a ruling seen as a victory for press freedom, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, appointed by U.S. President Donald Trump, ordered the White House to temporarily restore Acosta's press pass on Friday while he considers the merits of the case and the possibility of a permanent order.

CNN has filed a suit against the Trump administration, claiming that by their actions they had violated the First and Fifth Amendments of the US Constitution.

CNN has said that it has asked for a new emergency hearing to allow its reporter Jim Acosta to remain at the White House, saying officials are threatening to revoke his press pass again.

CNN and Acosta are seeking a hearing on a preliminary injunction "for the week of November 26, 2018, or as soon thereafter as possible", according to the filing.

In their letter, they wrote that Acosta failed to follow "basic, commonsense practices" for conduct that "are necessary for orderly press conferences that are fair to all journalists in attendance".

At the contentious news conference a day after Trump's Republicans lost their majority in the US House of Representatives, Trump erupted with anger when Acosta questioned him about the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and a migrant caravan travelling through Mexico.

He said the White House has an obligation to afford due process to Acosta before it can revoke or suspend his access, and found that the White House's decision-making process in this case was "so shrouded in mystery that the government could not tell me. who made the decision".


As it stands, Acosta is guaranteed use of his press pass to the White House through the end of the month.

In a significant shift from its previous attempt to revoke Acosta's credentials and in a potential move to alleviate due process concerns, the White House letter also lays out a process for Acosta to contest the preliminary decision through written correspondence.

President Trump said on Fox News on Sunday that the White House plans to deal harshly with Acosta if he "misbehaves" again.

Acosta's credentials were revoked after Trump denounced him as a "rude, bad person" during a November 7 news conference. Trump responded by branding Acosta a "rude, bad person".

Members of the press have had an assigned workspace at the White House since 1902.

Fresh off decrying lack of "decorum" among members of the press, Trump mocks a Democratic congressman's stature and misspells his name to call him a piece of excrement.

  • Tracy Klein