Americas

CNN files suit against Trump administration

News network demands Jim Acosta's White House hard pass be returned to him

Michael Hernandez   | 13.11.2018
CNN files suit against Trump administration

Washington DC

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON 

CNN filed a lawsuit against the Donald Trump administration on Tuesday, alleging it acted unconstitutionally by revoking the White House credentials of one of their reporters.

The lawsuit seeks a judge's intervention after the administration suspended Jim Acosta's credentials following a tense back-and-forth with the president during a press conference.

"The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process," CNN said in a statement announcing the legal action.

"While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone," the network said. "If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials."

The White House sought to justify its action by saying Acosta placed "his hands on" an intern who was trying to take his microphone from him during last week's heated exchange with Trump. Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders then released what appears to be a doctored video to substantiate the claim.

The video in question has come under mass scrutiny as it appears to be a sped-up version of original footage that was altered to make Acosta's actions look more aggressive towards the White House intern as she yanks down on his microphone.

Trump has regularly besmirched CNN as "fake news" and the "enemy of the people," haranguing its reporters during press conferences and media availabilities over what he perceives to be the network's unfavorable coverage of him.

Journalists have lined up behind Acosta following the White House action, and the White House Correspondent's Association issued a statement shortly after CNN's lawsuit was made public that was "strongly" supportive of the legal action.

"Revoking access to the White House complex amounted to disproportionate reaction to the events of last Wednesday," association president Olivier Knox said in a statement. "The President of the United States should not be in the business of arbitrarily picking the men and women who cover him."

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