CNN on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump and various White House aides following the temporary suspension of Chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s “hard pass” media credential.
The administration stripped Acosta of his pass to enter the White House following President Donald Trump’s contentious news conference last week, where Acosta refused to give up a microphone when the president said he didn’t want to hear anything more from him.
In response to the lawsuit, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement: “this is just more grandstanding from CNN, and we will vigorously defend against his lawsuit.”
The White House Correspondents’ Association backed the lawsuit, filed in Washington, D.C., district court.
“The president of the United States should not be in the business of arbitrarily picking the men and women who cover him,” said Oliver Knox, president of the correspondents’ group.
CNN said Acosta was given no warning of the action, and no recourse to appeal it. Acosta traveled to Paris to cover Trump’s visit there this weekend and, although given permission by the French government to cover a news event, the Secret Service denied him entrance, the company said.
“Without this credential, a daily White House correspondent like Acosta effectively cannot do his job,” CNN’s lawsuit said.
CNN asked for an injunction to immediately reinstate Acosta, as well as a hearing on the larger issue of barring a reporter.
Acosta has been a polarizing figure even beyond the distaste that Trump and his supporters have for him. The Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank, editorialized last week that Acosta’s encounter with Trump at the news conference “was less about asking questions and more about making statements. In doing so, the CNN White House reporter gave President Donald Trump room to critique Acosta’s professionalism.”
Read the full lawsuit below:
CNN v Trump by on Scribd
The Associated Press contributed to this report.