CNN requests that Acosta be reinstated and notes that the revocation of Acosta’s access was “the culmination of years of hostility by President Trump against CNN and Acosta” based on its reporting and “an unabashed attempt to censor the press and exclude reporters from the White House who challenge and dispute the President’s point of view.”
Acosta discovered his press access had been suspended when he walked up to the northwest gate of the White House for a live shot last Wednesday. A Secret Service agent told him: “I was just told to do it.”
Concurrently, Sanders claimed that Acosta had behaved inappropriately at a presidential news conference earlier that day. Sanders accused him of “placing his hands” on an intern who tried to take away his microphone. In reality, Acosta said “Pardon me, ma’am” and asked another question before giving up his microphone.
Here is a video of the interaction for the world to see: pic.twitter.com/us8u5TWzDz
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) November 8, 2018
Sanders later shared a doctored video promoted by right-wing conspiracy website Infowars purporting to show Acosta placing his hands on the intern. That video was swiftly debunked.
The Justice Department, in a 28-page filing, defended its decision to revoke Acosta’s press access.
No journalist has a First Amendment right to enter the White House,” Justice Department lawyers said.
“The president is generally free to open the White House doors to political allies, in the hopes of furthering a particular agenda, and he is equally free to invite in only political foes, in the hopes of convincing them of his position,” the lawyers continued. “The First Amendment simply does not regulate these decisions.”