by 👩💻 Stephanie Boyd
Amid an extremely dramatic week at the White House following the US Midterm Elections, US President Donald Trump’s press briefings were, in a word, pressworthy. Among the stories which made the front pages include that of Jim Acosta, a CNN representative who found himself ceremoniously banned from all future White House briefings – following what Trump’s team allege to have been improper conduct. This has now led to CNN filing a lawsuit on Acosta’s behalf.
CNN Files Suit Against White House to Reverse Jim Acosta Press Pass Suspension [THR News Video]
According to BBC News, Acosta was asking a question of Trump when he was advised to ‘put down the mic’ by the President – when he started to offer a line of questioning over ongoing investigations into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 General Election. This led to a White House staffer to attempt to take the microphone from Acosta, only for the journalist to offer some resistance. This led Trump Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to state that Acosta had all future access to the White House removed as a result of him putting ‘his hands on a young woman’. Video footage of the supposed incident appearing to show otherwise has been used in Acosta’s defense.
Acosta hit back outright stating that the White House statement was a lie, before news emerged this week that his parent firm, broadcasters CNN, would be suing Trump outright on the grounds of constitutional rights violation. The journalist’s ‘hard pass’ into the White House is claimed to be an unacceptable violation by the network, who have filed a lawsuit in Washington DC offering Trump, Sanders and Chief of Staff John Kelly up as defendants.
“We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and we will seek permanent relief as part of this process,” CNN confirmed via statement. “While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone. If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.”
The White House’s statement offered concerns that Acosta had attempted to ‘monopolize the floor’, and that an ‘orderly and fair press conference’ could not be pursued ‘when a reporter acts (in such an alleged) way’.
Sarah Sanders Responds to CNN Lawsuit, Shreds Showboat Acosta [video]
“Don’t believe the lies coming from the WH,” Acosta himself tweeted recently. “Believe in our freedoms. Thank you all for your support. We won’t back down.”
People are claiming video shared by Sarah Sanders of Jim Acosta was doctored — here's why [video]