The White House is restoring Jim Acosta's press pass days after a judge ordered it to do so — and CNN is dropping its lawsuit

CNNPresident Donald Trump spars with CNN’s Jim Acosta at a press conference.
  • CNN announced Monday that the White House is reinstating reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass – three days after a federal judge ordered the administration to do so.
  • The cable news network is dropping its lawsuit against the administration for what they believe were First Amendment and due process violations.
  • The Trump administration revoked Acosta’s credentials on November 7 after a combative exchange at a press conference in which Acosta and President Donald Trump argued about a question Acosta asked.

CNN announcedMonday that the White House is reinstating reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass – three days after a federal judge ordered the administration to do so – and the network is consequently dropping its lawsuit against the administration.

The Trump administration revoked Acosta’s credentials on November 7 after a combative exchange at a press conference in which Acosta and President Donald Trump argued about a question Acosta asked.

Trump called Acosta a “rude, terrible person,” and a White House staffer attempted to grab the microphone from Acosta’s hand, though he twisted away from her.

In its lawsuit, the cable news network argued that revoking Acosta’s pass violated the First Amendment right of freedom of the press, as well as CNN’s and Acosta’s Fifth Amendment right to due process. In an unexpected move, Trump’s favourite news outlet – Fox News – supported CNN’s legal challenge and filed an amicus brief in the case along with several other news organisations, holding that the White House cannot bar reporters “for arbitrary reasons.”

The Trump administration pushed back in court and to the media, arguing that it has broad discretion over reporters’ press passes and that the First Amendment doesn’t grant Acosta the right to enter the White House.

Read more: Fox News announces it’s supporting CNN’s lawsuit against the Trump administration for revoking Jim Acosta’s press pass

Though US District Judge Timothy Kelly didn’t rule on Friday on whether Acosta’s constitutional rights had been violated, he held that revoking the pass had done “irreparable harm.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement later on Friday that the White House would comply with the judge’s order and temporarily reinstate Acosta’s credentials.

“Today, the court made clear that there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House. In response to the court, we will temporarily reinstate the reporter’s hard pass,” Sanders said. “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.”

Michelle Mark contributed to this report.

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