CNN's Chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta made headlines last week when he was banned from the White House by Donald Trump after they got into an argument during a press conference. Now CNN is suing the Trump Administration in hopes of getting Acosta reinstated at his old job.
Acosta's press credentials were ripped away after he got into a heated discussion with Trump. The President has an ongoing tense relationship with the media, often labeling various outlets as Fake News, and he is especially hard on CNN in general.
The lawsuit was filed in the Federal District Court, and it claims that Acosta's removal is a direct violation of the First Amendment rights to freely report on the government. It is also being cited that Acosta's due process rights were violated when his press credentials were taken away without warning.
Acosta angered Trump while asking about the immigrant caravan and the special counsel's investigation. Trump gave a flippant answer, resulting in Acosta refusing to relinquish his microphone. Acosta pressed on with his questioning of the President. Trump tried to move onto another reporter, and a White House intern attempted to pull the microphone away from Acosta while he was still speaking.
Hours after the incident, White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders alerted the press that Acosta's credentials had been pulled. The Trump administration then falsely accused Acosta of being aggressive with the White House intern who tried to take the mic away, saying that Acosta put his hands on her. The press secretary later released a video of the incident that had been altered. CNN said this in a 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."
Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Sarah Huckabee Sanders released an official statement.
"This is just more grandstanding from CNN, and we will vigorously defend against this lawsuit. He physically refused to surrender a White House microphone to an intern, so that other reporters might ask their questions. The White House cannot run an orderly and fair press conference when a reporter acts this way, which is neither appropriate nor professional,"
She went onto mention that several other CNN reporters had retained their press credentials and were still being allowed in the White House. The CNN lawsuit is being considered one of the most aggressive actions taken by a news origination against a sitting president. At this time, no rival networks have issued any formal statements backing Acosta and his actions at the White House.
Named in the CNN lawsuit is Sarah Sanders as a defendant. Donald Trump, his chief of staff, John Kelly; the head of White House communications strategy, Bill Shine; and the Secret Service are all also named. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher will represent CNN.