MIAMI (CBSMiami) — CBS News has joined the fight against the White House for revoking a CNN reporter’s media pass.
Jim Acosta’s “hard pass,” which gives holders expanded access to the White House complex, was suspended last week, hours after he sparred with President Trump in press conference.
CNN took its access battle against the Trump administration to court on Tuesday, demanding the reinstatement of Acosta’s White House credentials because their revocation violates the right of freedom of the press.
CBS News announced it will file an amicus brief in support of CNN, saying in a statement it supports the White House Correspondents Association and CNN’s legal fight to restore Acosta’s access.
“We do not believe that revoking White House press credentials is an appropriate remedy for a disagreement the White House may have with a particular reporter,” CBS News’ statement said. “We intend to file a friend of the court brief in support of CNN’s lawsuit to defend its constitutional rights.”
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) November 14, 2018
Fox News also filed a ‘friend of the court’ brief in federal court in support of CNN’s lawsuit against the Trump administration saying Secret Service passes for working White House journalists “should never be weaponized. While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access and open exchanges for the American people.”
WATCH THE ENTIRE EXCHANGE BETWEEN JIM ACOSTA AND PRESIDENT TRUMP
President Trump’s administration contends it has “broad discretion” to regulate press access to the White House and said it “was lawful” to punish Acosta for his behavior.
CNN says it has asked the court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Acosta and will seek permanent relief as part of this process. The White House Correspondents Association has said that it “strongly supports” the suit.
Acosta’s access to the White House was purportedly suspended because he refused to give up a microphone to a White House intern who reached over and tried to take it away from him during the press conference. The White House accused Acosta of placing his hands on the young woman and distributed a video of the incident that several analysts concluded was doctored and had the effect of exaggerating the moment of contact.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called the lawsuit “just more grandstanding from CNN.” Although the White House initially said it was revoking Acosta’s hard pass because he laid hands on an intern, Sanders’ new statement said he “physically refused to surrender a White House microphone to an intern.” Sanders also said that the new justification for the removal of his pass was that he did not yield to other reporters for questions.
Other news organizations also joining the fight against the White House include NBC News, the New York Times, the Washington Post and two wire services – AP and Bloomberg, among others.