Hardly a week after a court order forced President Donald Trump’s administration to reestablish CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta’s access to the White House, the administration is threatening to revoke his credentials again as soon as the two week order expires.
The White House informed Acosta and CNN of the “preliminary decision” to revoke his access through a letter, reading:
“We are writing to give you formal written notice that we have made a preliminary decision to suspend your hard pass due to your conduct at the President’s November 7, 2018 press conference. The president is aware of this preliminary decision and concurs.”
The letter prompted the network to ask for an emergency hearing in an effort to prolong Acosta’s credentials.
The White House is threatening to take away Jim Acosta's press credentials, again. CNN filed papers this morning asking the judge to expedite the next phase of the case following Friday's temporary restraining order. Story: https://t.co/fhmrSUC1JH pic.twitter.com/80nUsITFDm
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) November 19, 2018
CNN said in a statement:
“The White House is continuing to violate the First and 5th Amendments of the Constitution. These actions threaten all journalists and news organizations. Jim Acosta and CNN will continue to report the news about the White House and the President.”
In the letter to the network, White House Press Secretary cited Acosta’s behavior at a post-midterms press conference in which Trump berated Acosta for persisting to ask the president questions. The White House also implied in a doctored video that Acosta assaulted the White House intern who attempted to take his microphone.
Americans are making it clear that the White House’s targeting of Acosta will not stand.
Why is Trump scared of Acosta’s questions? What is he hiding?
— Cowboy Little (@CowboyLittle) November 19, 2018
Trump doubling down. It is not about Acosta, but Freedom of the Press. Trump is attacking the Press not only to influence reporting to be more favourable to him, but to distract from N Korea, no trade deal with China, farmers hurting, attacks on Vets, and GOP losses in midterms.
— Stephen Cwalinski (@cwalisc) November 19, 2018
Trump is scared of Acosta. He can't hide forever.
— Allison Veit (@veit2coffee) November 19, 2018
While Trump has frequently demonized the media and made moves against the sanctity of a free press, his ire towards CNN and Jim Acosta has been personal for a long time.
Donald Trump notably berated Acosta during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May this past July, refusing to answer a question from the reporter and insisting that CNN had no credibility.
“CNN is fake news. I don’t take questions from CNN. CNN is fake news. I don’t take questions from CNN…Let’s go to a real network”
Trump’s insults also got personal at the press conference that provoked the White House to revoke Acosta’s credentials. Trump fumed:
“CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN.”
Now, Americans are saying that the president is a tyrant for his targeting of Acosta, the network, and the press as a whole.
These grade school bullying antics by Benedict @realDonaldTrump are pathetic. He can't stand to be confronted with his lies and bullshit so he resorts to name calling and other childish antics. This moron should have been removed by the 25th Amendment on day 2.
— Jaason Gregorovious (@jaasongreg) November 19, 2018
Because our president is a middle school child who can’t let go of any perceived “slight”. He has all the power in this situation. If he doesn’t like Acosta, don’t call on him. That simple.
— Kim Wineman (@kbwineman) November 19, 2018
The danger of a narcissistic psychopath as POTUS was always going to be the innumerable ways he would erode and violate norms and ethics for his own promotion, the ways he would blur reality, and the normalization and acceptance of his infantile yet exploitive behavior.
— AntiNarcopathyPharmD (@narceducator) November 19, 2018
While it’s not unheard of for a president to dislike dealing with the media, each one has acknowledged the vital need for a free press in order to hold administrations accountable. The White House’s move towards banning a reporter and possibly even an entire network, to many, flies in the face of one of the country’s most sacred institutions.