The White House has officially restored Jim Acosta’s hard pass and is backing down on its threat to revoke his credential again, but they sent a letter to the CNN correspondent outlining “rules” they want all reporters following in briefings.
The rules include journalists asking “a single question” before yielding the floor and “physically surrendering the microphone” to other reporters, with follow-ups allowed “at the discretion of the President or other White House official taking questions.”
Per White House letter to Acosta on Nov. 19, here are the new rules for press conferences at the White House. pic.twitter.com/a6C2pmLv2K
— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) November 19, 2018
CNN filed a lawsuit earlier this week claiming that revoking Acosta’s press pass to the White House, known as the “hard pass,” violated the First Amendment. Acosta was stripped of his credentials, without warning, when he returned to the White House, where he works daily, after a heated exchange between Trump and Acosta at a press conference on Nov. 7.
U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly repeatedly emphasized at the court hearing on Friday that his decision to return Acosta’s press pass, with a temporary restraining order as litigation continues, was based on the Fifth Amendment, under which the judge ruled Acosta was denied his right to due process. Due process would give Acosta and CNN the chance to rebut and challenge the appropriateness of the government’s action.
In his closing remarks, Kelly made clear that the ruling, which is only the beginning of the court proceedings to decide Acosta’s White House access, was narrow and didn’t determine whether or not Acosta’s First Amendment right was violated.
This letter details several new rules for reporter conduct at presidential pressers, including "a single question" from each journalist. Follow-ups will only be permitted "at the discretion of the President or other White House officials." https://t.co/gw3znfN0W0 pic.twitter.com/o0O7m6iYAN
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 19, 2018