Media groups including Fox News joined CNN's legal battle Wednesday to restore the White House pass of a banned chief correspondent, as Donald Trump's administration argued it had a broad right to allow or deny press access to the United States president. We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court.
The announcement comes a day after CNN announced that it was filing a lawsuit to restore the press pass of journalist Acosta, who was restricted from covering the White House after a heated exchange with Donald Trump during a press conference.
In response to Acosta losing his White House hard pass, CNN filed a lawsuit against the White House for violating "CNN and Acosta's First Amendment rights of freedom of the press".
"I really think that when you have guys like Acosta, I think they're bad for the country", Trump continued.
During a press conference at White House last week, Trump berated Acosta when he challenged the president's assertion that a caravan of Central American migrants making its way on foot through Mexico to the US border represented an "invasion".
Acosta has emerged as a hero of the #Resistance after making a habit of shouting and interrupting when Trump and members of his administration are available to the media.
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12 other news organizations have also come out in support of the "independent journalist", including Bloomberg and the Associated Press.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called the lawsuit "just more grandstanding from CNN".
"Plaintiffs have not established that the public interest is uniquely harmed by Mr. Acosta's absence, in light of the other tenacious reporters still on the White House beat", the lawyers wrote, noting that dozens of other CNN journalists have retained their credentials.
Later, the White House dropped that justification and said Acosta had "failed to treat the White House and the office of the presidency with respect". The "hard pass" allows the bearer to enter White House areas as an employee might, undergoing a less onerous security check, and without an invitation or request for entrance. "Reporters should be able to go to the White House and cover presidents without fear of reprisal".
The White House memo also makes the case that Acosta was given sufficient notice about the suspension of his credentials, saying, Acosta "received notice of the reasons for his pass's revocation the night it happened and again the next day". This was not the first time this reporter has inappropriately refused to yield to other reporters.
"The president is generally free to open the White House doors to political allies, in the hopes of furthering a particular agenda, and he is equally free to invite in only political foes, in the hopes of convincing them of his position", the government filing reads.