The White House has restored the press credentials of CNN’s chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, and as a result, CNN will drop its lawsuit against the Trump administration, the network announced.
A White House official tells CBS News’ Fin Gomez the White House will not attempt to revoke Acosta’s credentials again over the Nov. 7 exchange between the president and Acosta.
“Today the @WhiteHouse fully restored @Acosta‘s press pass. As a result, our lawsuit is no longer necessary. We look forward to continuing to cover the White House,” CNN tweeted.
But the White House also instituted new rules for journalists at press conferences, claiming it has the right to suspend or revoke a journalist’s credentials if they fail to follow any of the rules. Those three rules include: a journalist called upon to ask a question will ask a single question and then yield the floor; a follow-up question will be permitted at the discretion of the president or the White House and then the journalist must yield the floor; and “yielding the floor” includes if necessary physically surrendering the microphone, according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
Sanders said the White House may initiate further rules of decorum, if necessary.
“The White House’s interaction with the press is, and generally should be, subject to a natural give-and-take,” Sanders said. “President Trump believes strongly in the First Amendment, and a free press and is the most accessible President in modern history. It would be a great loss for all if, instead of relying on the professionalism of White House journalists, we were compelled to devise a lengthy and detailed code of conduct for White House events.”
CNN had requested an emergency court hearing earlier Monday, saying the White House warned it could revoke correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass again at the end of the month. Late Friday, top officials named as defendants in the suit from CNN and Acosta suggested that the “preliminary” decision to revoke Acosta’s pass earlier this month could be final if he doesn’t submit materials to argue his case by Nov. 18, for a final decision Nov. 19.
A federal judge on Friday forced the White House to return Acosta’s credentials. But the granted request was only for temporary relief, after the Secret Service confiscated Acosta’s “hard pass,” the access pass journalists who regularly cover the White House can acquire only after a rigorous background check process.
Last week, Judge Timothy Kelly only ruled that the White House had violated Acosta’s Fifth Amendment rights in revoking his hard pass. Kelly did not rule on whether the Trump administration had infringed on his First Amendment rights, as CNN and Acosta argue they did . Acosta’s credential were revoked after a testy exchange with Mr. Trump during a post-midterms press conference.
The plaintiffs, CNN and Acosta, were already expected to return to court this week.
On a trip to California Saturday, the president emphasized that journalists have to treat the White House with respect, in answering questions about Acosta’s situation.
“People have to behave,” he told reporters Friday in response to questions about Acosta, adding, “we’re writing up rules and regulations to make our position.” He continued, “And if they don’t listen to the rules and regulations, we’ll end up back in court and we’ll win. But more importantly, we’ll just leave, and then you won’t be very happy.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.