WASHINGTON — The White House has fully restored CNN correspondent Jim Acosta's hard pass, ending high stakes litigation that could have determined the extent to which the president controls access by the media.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Deputy Chief of Staff Bill Shine sent a letter to Acosta on Friday evening informing him that they had preliminarily decided to revoke his credential, with a final decision to be made on Monday. They sought an emergency court hearing. CNN's legal team objected to the move, calling it retroactive and based on non-existent written standards of conduct.
Over the weekend, it looked as if the White House would attempt to revoke Acosta's pass again by proving to the judge that they had followed due process.
Trump called him "rude," and Acosta initially declined to hand his microphone over to a White House intern when she attempted to grab it from him. The Trump administration claimed that Acosta disrupted the press conference when he refused to stop trying to ask a followup question to the president.
(I) A journalist called upon to ask a question will ask a single question and then will yield the floor to other journalists;
(4) Failure to abide by any ofrules (1)-(3) may result in suspension or revocation of the journalist's hard pass.
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) November 19, 2018
"Having received a formal reply from your counsel to our letter of November 16, we have made a final determination in this process: your hard pass is restored," the White House said in a letter to Acosta on Monday afternoon and published by CNN. "Should you refuse to follow these rules in the future, we will take action in accordance with the rules set forth above. The President is aware of this decision and concurs."
(3) "Yielding the floor" includes, when applicable, physically surrendering the microphone to White House staff for use by the next questioner;
(2) At the discretion of the President or other White House official taking questions, a follow-up question or questions may be permitted; and where a follow up has been allowed and asked, the questioner will then yield the floor;
They added that "the view from here is that White House interaction with the press is, and generally should be, subject to a kind of natural give and take. It would be a great loss for all if, instead of this give and take, and 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."” /> President Trump believes strongly in the First Amendment and interacts with the press in just such a way.
7. U.S. If the White House were to seek again to pull the hard pass, it would have required the administration to first ask a federal judge to lift a court order. District Judge Timothy Kelly on Friday ruled that the White House failed to follow due process when they revoked his credentials hours after a contentious press conference on Nov. CNN won a temporary restraining order on Friday to at temporarily restore Acosta's pass.
Shine and Sanders also held out the possibility of a more extensive code of conduct.
"As a result, our lawsuit is no longer necessary. We look forward to continuing to cover the White House." "Today the @WhiteHouse fully restored @Acosta's press pass," the CNN public relations account wrote.
The Trump administration also outlined a written set of guidelines for reporters at press conferences:
"But, given your insistence that shared practices be replaced by 'explicit…standards,' this letter attempts to convert into rules the widely understood practices described in our prior letter, and which your counsel inexplicably concludes were non existent." "We would prefer to continue hosting White House press conferences in reliance on a set of understood professional norms, and we believe the overwhelming majority of journalists covering the White House share that preference," Shine and Sanders wrote in their letter on Monday.