White House blasts ‘grandstanding’ CNN for lawsuit demanding Jim Acosta get back his press credentials after he was banned for clashing with female intern over press conference microphone

  • White House denied Acosta access last week and confiscated his ‘hard pass’ after a heated press-conference shouting match with Trump
  • The clash ended with brief physical contact with a female intern who tried to take the microphone
  • CNN sued on Tuesday on First Amendment grounds, claimed Acosta was denied a Fifth Amendent right to due process, and asked a judge for a restraining order
  • On Friday Trump told DailyMail.com as he left the White House that he hasn’t decided how long Acosta will be without credentials, and more bans may follow 
  • The suit names Trump, chief of staff John Kelly, press secretary Sarah Sanders and other aides, along with the Secret Service officer who took the press pass
  • Former George W. Bush lawyer Ted Olson is representing CNN

CNN filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the Trump administration after the White House suspended White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s ‘hard pass’ press credential. Acosta clashed with President Donald Trump and a press office intern during a November 7 press conference.

The networks’ suit, filed by a team that includes former George W. Bush solicitor general Ted Olson, demands the immediate return of Acosta’s credentials.

The White House fired back at CNN, one of the president’s favorite targets, for ‘grandstanding.’

Acosta lost access to the building last Wednesday night, hours after refusing to give up a microphone when the president said he had answered enough of his questions.

Scroll down to read the lawsuit 

Acosta saw his press credentials rescinded Wednesday after he clashed with an intern over a press conference microphone

Acosta saw his press credentials rescinded Wednesday after he clashed with an intern over a press conference microphone

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Acosta ‘physically refused to surrender a White House microphone to an intern.’ That appeared to be softer language than her earlier claim that he placed ‘his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job.’

CNN vigorously disputed the implication of anything more than minor physical contact.

Attorneys for CNN sued Tuesday in Washington, D.C. in U.S. District Court.

The network claims the revocation of Acosta’s press pass violates the constitutional rights to freedom of the press and due process. CNN is asking for an immediate restraining order to reinstate Acosta’s access to the White House.

The suit ‘demands the return of the White House credentials of CNN’s Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process,’ according to a CNN statement.