Nov 17, 2018 06:49 UTC
  • Judge orders White House to reinstate CNN reporter's press pass

A US federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to immediately reinstate the press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta, giving the network a victory in the ongoing case.

According to Press TV, US District Court Judge Timothy Kelly, an appointee of President Donald Trump, issued his ruling at a hearing on Friday.

The judge ordered the administration to reactivate Acosta’s credentials so that the reporter could have access to the White House complex for press briefings and other events.

Acosta, CNN’s Chief White House correspondent, was back to his post at the White House following the court ruling.

"I want to thank all of my colleagues in the press who supported us this week, and I want to thank the judge for the decision he made today," Acosta said outside the court. "Let's go back to work."

CNN said in a statement that it “looked forward to a full resolution in the coming days.”

Trump, however, vowed to develop "rules and regulations" for how White House correspondents act in press conferences.

"It's not a big deal and if he misbehaves, we'll throw him out or we'll stop the news conference," he told Fox News later on Friday.

The Justice Department was “disappointed” with the court decision, Spokeswoman Kelly Laco said in a statement.

“The president has broad authority to regulate access to the White House ... We look forward to continuing to defend the White House’s lawful actions,” Laco said.

The White House had indefinitely suspended Acosta’s press pass last week following a fiery exchange between the reporter and President Trump at a news conference a week earlier.

Trump had erupted into anger when Acosta questioned him about the so-called migrant caravan traveling through Mexico and about the ongoing investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

"That's enough, that's enough," Trump said then as a White House intern attempted to take the microphone off Acosta. "You are a rude, terrible person."

CNN had alleged in its lawsuit that Trump and his aides had violated Acosta's First and Fifth Amendment rights by suspending his press pass.

Judge Kelly, reading his written opinion from the bench, sided with the network on the basis of the lawsuit’s Fifth Amendment claims, saying the White House failed to give Acosta the due process required to legally revoke his credentials.

However, the judge left open the possibility that the White House could seek to revoke Acosta's pass again if it provided due process.

CNN v. Trump is seen as an important test of press freedom in the United States. The case underscores Trump's increasingly hostile relationship with media outlets, which he frequently decries as "fake news" and "the enemy of the people."