White House to Seek Further Ban of CNN Reporter

The White House is planning to again revoke press credentials for CNN correspondent Jim Acosta when a judge’s restraining order allowing him access to the building expires at the end of November, the news network says.

The Trump administration had blocked Acosta from entering the White House grounds after his testy exchange with President Donald Trump two weeks ago during a news conference the day after the national congressional and state elections.

But a Trump-appointed federal judge in Washington agreed with CNN that the ban likely violated Acosta’s constitutional rights of freedom of the press and imposed a two-week restraining order against the White House banning him from the White House grounds.

The network said, however, that soon after the order was handed down Friday, the White House told Acosta it would reinstate the ban as soon as it expires November 30.

In light of the White House stance, CNN said it has asked Judge Timothy Kelly for another emergency hearing in the dispute.

“The White House is continuing to violate the First and 5th Amendments of the Constitution,” the network said. “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.”

But CNN’s lawyers also said they “remain hopeful” that the network and the White House “can resolve this dispute without further court intervention.”

At the November 7 White House news conference, Acosta questioned Trump whether he had demonized migrants with his claim during the election campaign that the slow-moving caravan of Central American migrants walking through Mexico toward the southern U.S. border was an “invasion.” Trump responded that he believed it was an invasion, telling Acosta, “Honestly, I think you should let me run the country.”

But the exchange with Trump grew testier when Acosta attempted to ask the president another question, whether he was concerned about possible impending indictments of Trump 2016 campaign officials brought by special counsel Robert Mueller.

The president said he wasn’t concerned “about anything” because he considered the Mueller investigation a hoax, but then berated Acosta as a “rude, terrible person.”

Shortly after the judge’s ruling allowing Acosta renewed access to the White House, Trump told Fox News in an interview that was aired Sunday, “It’s fine, it’s not a big deal.”

But the president then seemed to threaten Acosta, saying, “If he misbehaves, we’ll throw him out. Or we’ll stop the news conference.”

Trump said, “Nobody believes in the First Amendment more than I do… And if I think somebody’s acting out of sorts I will leave. I will say, Thank you very much everybody, thank you very much for coming’ and I will leave. And those reporters will not be too friendly to whoever it is that’s acting up.”

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