The White House responded today to a lawsuit from CNN seeking the reinstatement of reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials.
Acosta’s credentials were pulled after a confrontation between Acosta and Donald Trump at a press conference. Acosta was accused of interfering with an intern who attempted to take his microphone away. As we reported previously, CNN responded to the move with a suit filed today.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to the lawsuit with a statement saying: “This is just more grandstanding from CNN, and we will vigorously defend against this lawsuit.”
“Ms. Sanders made no mention of her original claim that Mr. Acosta had reacted inappropriately with the intern,” The New York Times reports. “Instead, she wrote that ‘he physically refused to surrender a White House microphone to an intern, so that other reporters might ask their questions.’
The Times also quotes Sanders writing: “The White House cannot run an orderly and fair press conference when a reporter acts this way, which is neither appropriate nor professional.”
The Times adds: “In turning to the courts, CNN has taken perhaps the most aggressive action yet by a news organization against a president who has systematically vilified journalists and media outlets since starting his campaign in 2015. Mr. Trump’s denigration of the news media as ‘the enemy of the American people’ — and his popularization of ‘fake news’ as a way to dismiss critical coverage — has alarmed press freedom groups around the world.”
The report notes that Sanders is named as a defendant in the suit, along with Trump; his chief of staff, John Kelly; the head of White House communications strategy, Bill Shine; and the Secret Service.