Sarah Sanders Outlines Conduct Rules for White House Reporters

The Associated Press
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
CHARLIE SPIERING

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders outlined new rules for White House reporters, after restoring CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass on Monday.

“We have created these rules with a degree of regret,” Sanders said in a statement.

She lamented that Acosta’s behavior at the president’s most recent press conference and subsequent lawsuit required the White House to set standards for conduct in place.

“We would have greatly preferred 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,” she said. “But, given the position taken by CNN, we now feel obligated to replace previously shared practices with explicit rules.”

Sanders warned that if journalists continued to flout common decency at the White House, more rules would be created.

“At this time, however, we have decided not to frame such rules in the hope that professional journalistic norms will suffice to regulate conduct in those places,” she said. “If unprofessional behavior occurs in those settings, or if a court should decide that explicit rules are required to regulate conduct there, we will be forced to reconsider this decision.”

Sanders said President Donald Trump continued to be available for questions, calling him “the most accessible President in modern history” and a supporter of the First Amendment.”

Read the new rules released by the press office below:

(1)    A journalist called upon to ask a question will ask a single question and then will yield the floor to other journalists;

(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;

(3)    “Yielding the floor” includes, when applicable, physically surrendering the microphone to White House staff for use by the next questioner;

(4)    Failure to abide by any of rules (1)-(3) may result in suspension or revocation of the journalist’s hard pass.

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