White House says CNN's Jim Acosta is 'no more or less special' than any other reporter and accuses him of 'monopolizing the floor' with questions

  • The White House on Tuesday accused CNN of “grandstanding” after the network filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for revoking White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials.
  • “CNN, who has nearly 50 additional hard pass holders, and Mr. Acosta is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment,” The White House said in a statement.

The White House on Tuesday accused CNN of “grandstanding” after the network filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for revoking White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials.

“We will vigorously defend against this lawsuit,” The White House said in a statement. “CNN, who has nearly 50 additional hard pass holders, and Mr. Acosta is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment.”

The White House further accused Acosta of “physically” refusing to “surrender” a microphone to an intern who attempted to grab it from him during a press conference last week. Acosta was attempting to ask President Donald Trump questions about his references to a migrant caravan as an “invasion” at the time.

The White House falsely accused Acosta of placing “his hands” on the intern in the wake of the incident last week. Footage from the press conference shows his arm made contact with the aide, but it appeared to be accidental and Acosta was apologetic in the process.


Read more: Trump administration accused of behaving like authoritarian regime after revoking CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s credentials and sharing suspicious video

During Acosta’s exchange with Trump, the president referred to him as a “terrible” person. Subsequently, the White House revoked Acosta’s press credentials.

CNN on Tuesday filed a complaint to the Washington, DC district court against Trump, chief of staff John Kelly, deputy communications chief of staff William Shine, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the US Secret Service, Secret Service Director Randolph Alles, and John Doe (the Secret Service agent that allegedly took Acosta’s pass).


Read more: CNN filed a First Amendment lawsuit against the Trump administration for revoking Jim Acosta’s press pass

In a statement, CNN said the White House had violated “Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process.”

“If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials,” the statement added.

Here’s the full statement from the White House:

“We have been advised that CNN has filed a complaint challenging the suspension of Jim Acosta’s hard pass. This is just more grandstanding from CNN, and we will vigorously defend against this lawsuit. “CNN, who has nearly 50 additional hard pass holders, and Mr. Acosta is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment. After Mr. Acosta asked the President two questions-each of which the President answered-he physically refused to surrender a White House microphone to an intern, so that other reporters might ask their questions. This was not the first time this reporter has inappropriately refused to yield to other reporters. “The White House cannot run an orderly and fair press conference when a reporter acts this way, which is neither appropriate nor professional. The First Amendment is not served when a single reporter, of more than 150 present, attempts to monopolize the floor. If there is no check on this type of behaviour it impedes the ability of the President, the White House staff, and members of the media to conduct business.”

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.