CNN says White House preparing to eject reporter again

Monday, November 19, 2018

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WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — CNN said Monday it asked for a new emergency hearing to allow its reporter Jim Acosta to remain at the White House, saying officials are threatening to again revoke his press pass.

The statement from the cable news channel came just three days after a federal judge ordered the White House to allow Acosta's return citing a lack of "due process" — without ruling on CNN's argument that the ejection violated constitutional free press guarantees.

CNN said it received a letter Friday; hours after the judge's ruling, indicating the White House planned to revoke Acosta's press pass again after the 14-day temporary restraining order expires. "The White House is continuing to violate the First and Fifth Amendments of the constitution," the network said in a statement Sunday.

"These actions threaten all journalists and news organisations. Jim Acosta and CNN will continue to report the news about the White House and the president."

The White House letter, seeking to address the question of due process, said Acosta "violated basic standards" of news events when he got into a heated exchange with President Donald Trump on November 7.

"You asked a question and the president answered it," the letter said.

"You then shouted a second question at the president on a new topic, which the president answered at the same time he asked you to yield the floor to a new questioner. At that point, you continued shouting at the president and refused to physically surrender the microphone."

CNN attorney Theodore Boutros said in a court motion he was asking Judge Timothy Kelly for a new emergency hearing the week of November 26.

On Friday, Trump said that "rules and regulations" were being drafted to govern news conferences, where the president or his representatives often accuse journalists — Acosta in particular — of being overly hostile.

On November 7, the day he was stripped of his pass, Acosta had riled Trump by refusing to give up the microphone at a news conference when he considered that Trump was evading his question. Trump responded by branding Acosta a "rude, terrible person."

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