US & World

Trump ordered to restore CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s access

Jim AcostaImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jim Acosta was in court to hear the judge’s temporary ruling

A judge in Washington DC has ordered the White House to return CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass after it was revoked by the US Secret Service.

The judge’s order says that the pass must be reinstated as a CNN lawsuit against Donald Trump continues.

Mr Acosta’s press pass was taken after he clashed with the president during a news conference earlier this month.

The judge said the White House decision likely violated the journalist’s right to due process and freedom of speech.

Speaking outside the court, Mr Acosta praised the decision and told reporters “let’s go back to work”.

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Media captionDonald Trump and CNN’s Acosta clash

The ruling forces the White House press office to temporarily return Mr Acosta’s “hard pass”, the credential that allows reporters easy access to the White House and other presidential events.

Mr Acosta’s lawyer called the ruling “a great day for the first amendment and journalism”.

How did the row begin?

Mr Acosta was barred from entering the White House a day after he had a heated exchange with President Trump during a news conference on 8 November.

During the news conference, a White House intern tried to take the microphone from Mr Acosta as he attempted to ask the president a follow-up question.

In a statement White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders claimed that he had put “his hands on a young woman” during the exchange, during which Mr Trump called the reporter “a rude, terrible person”.

CNN sued to have Mr Acosta’s pass restored, and their lawsuit was joined by other media groups, including conservative-leaning Fox News.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Jim Acosta lost his White House access after a fiery exchange with President Trump

What has the reaction been?

In a statement, CNN said: “We are gratified with this result and we look forward to a full resolution in the coming days.

“Our sincere thanks to all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press.”

Ben Wizner of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said that the White House’s attempts to silence Mr Acosta have backfired.

“The White House surely hoped that expelling a reporter would deter forceful questioning, but the court’s ruling will have the opposite effect.

“The freedom of the press is a bedrock principle, and our democracy is strengthened when journalists challenge our leaders rather than defer to them.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-46240975

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