The White House told CNN reporter Jim Acosta on Friday that he will find himself shut out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue again on November 30, when a federal judge’s two-week order restoring his press credentials is set to expire.
The West Wing also moved quicky to begin establishing what the president called formal ‘rules and regulations for conduct,’ reacting to federal judge Timothy Kelly’s ruling that the White House violated Acosta’s Fifth Amendment rights when it yanked his press pass on Nov. 7.
Kelly’s objection was that Acosta had no opportunity to defend himself, something that a constitutionally guaranteed ‘due process’ would have provided him.
Designing a completely new framework for the White House press corps to operate in could, however, put reporters in a box they’re not used to.
The White House has already told CNN correspondent Jim Acosta that he will lose his press pass a second time when a federal judge’s temporary injunction expires Nov. 30
President Donald Trump is also threatening to turn off the cameras that face reporters as part of a new set of rules and regulations governing media conduct at the White House
Trump threatened Sunday in a Fox News Channel interview that he might put restrictions on the number and location of video cameras in press conferences, so journalists’ faces won’t be shown in broadcasts.
He said the White House could ‘maybe turn the camera off that faces them because then they don’t have any air time, although I’ll probably be sued for that and maybe, you know, win or lose it, who knows? I mean, with with this stuff you never know what’s going to happen.’
Video cameras in presidential press conferences held in the East Room and the Rose Garden are ad hoc affairs, with camera positions that could be limited or changed on the fly.
The White House briefing room, however, includes a fixed bank of network TV cameras on one side. Their purpose is to capture reporters asking their questions so network broadcast editors can put their journalists on-screen.
Getting rid of those cameras would leave a daily gaping hole – but one that would be less-noticed since Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has held few briefings in recent months.
The networks control the TV cameras, through a standing arrangement between the White House and the White House Correspondents Association. But like most media procedures at the White House, the rules are unwritten: The administration could limit the number of camera locations.
The network plans to ask Judge Kelly for a less temporary injunction against the White House once his restraining order runs its course.
Acosta returned to the White House on Friday after Kelly’s ruling, mobbed by his peers.
Acosta returned to a hero’s welcome at the White House on Friday after regaining his hard pass, wearing the press credentials that he had been without for nine days
Trump said his White House is formulating rules and regulations that will govern how it will respond to future breaches of decorum among the press corps
Fox News host Chris Wallace asked the president why he calls on Acosta, with whom the president has had a contentious relationship with.
‘Why did you call on Acosta in the first place? I mean, it seems to me there’s a simple solution here, just don’t call on him,’ Wallace said.
‘Actually I like to do it, but in many cases I don’t. He’ll stand up, he’s unbelievably rude to Sarah Huckabee, who’s a wonderful woman, unbelievably rude and I see that and I actually ask her the same. Why do you call on these people that are so nasty?,’ Trump said.
It was then the president threatened to turn off the cameras facing reporters but it was unclear in what setting he was referring to – inside the White House or inside the press briefing room, which sits in the West Wing area adjacent to the residence.
Those cameras, which provide what are called ‘cuts,’ show the reporters questioning officials in briefings and press conferences.
The television cameras are controlled by the networks.
While it would be hard for the administration to control what cameras are on in Sanders’ briefings, where all the TV networks have cameras, the White House could limit the number of cameras allowed in the East Room for press conferences with the president.
The White House could also simply nix those ‘cut away’ camera positions in press conferences, meaning the only cameras allowed would be the ones focused on Trump.
The president also defended his attacks on the ‘fake media.’
‘I don’t mind getting bad news if I’m wrong. If I do something wrong,’ he said.
‘I’m totally in favor of the media, I’m totally in favor of free press, got to be fair press,’ he noted.
But Wallace pressed him: ‘The President [doesn’t] get to decide what’s fair and what’s not.’
‘I can tell what’s fair and not and so can my people and so can a lot of other people,’ the president responded.
Wallace then brought up the battles between Fox News and President Barack Obama’s administration.
The president’s contentious relationship with the media ratcheted up a notch in the last few weeks
‘Barack Obama whined about Fox News all the time but he never said we were the enemy of the people,’ he said.
‘Well, no, he didn’t talk about the news, he didn’t talk about anything, I’m only saying it very differently than anyone’s ever said it before, I’m saying fake news, false reporting, dishonest reporting, of which there is a lot, and I know it. See, I know it because I’m a subject of it. A lot of people don’t know it. But when I explain it to them, they understand it,’ Trump said.
The president grumbled about his press conference during much of his interview with Fox News.
Wallace began the interview by asking Trump about reports he was in a dark mood after Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives in the midterm election.
The president snapped back his mood was ‘light’ and went on to attack The Washington Post, which reported that story.
‘It’s disgusting fake news. I read a front page story in the Washington Post, they never even called me, nobody ever calls me,’ he said. ‘I don’t even think they have sources I think they just make it up like it’s fiction. And I will tell you I’m extremely upbeat, the White House is running like a well-oiled machine, it’s doing really well.’
He added: ‘And I will tell you that it’s so wrong, the reporting about me is so wrong. I’m loving what I’m doing.’
The president’s contentious relationship with the media ratcheted up a notch in the last few weeks after Acosta’s hard pass was revoked after he got into a back-and-forth with Trump in a news conference and a tussle over a microphone that the CNN White House correspondent refused to hand over to an intern.
Trump warned he would have Acosta rejected from future press conferences ‘if he misbehaves.’
And he said he reserved the right to abruptly end Q&A events with reporters if Acosta gets on his nerves.
President Donald Trump brushed off a judge’s ruling on Friday that restored CNN journalist Jim Acosta’s revoked press pass, saying he’llwin in the end once there’s an established process for punishing unruly reporters
Acosta was wearing his White House ‘hard pass’ (the gray ID card, pictured) when he returned to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Friday after winning a temporary restraining order
On Friday, a federal judge ordered the White House to restore the media credentials it stripped from Acosta last week following a contentious East Room press conference.
After telling Trump he wanted to ‘challenge’ him about his border policy, Acosta argued with him and remained standing with a White House microphone when the president told him his time was up. Acosta also refused to surrender the microphone to a bewildered female intern.
On Friday the president called federal judge Timothy Kelly’s ruling ‘not a big deal.’ Kelly’s decision rebuked the White House for arbitrarily ousting Acosta from the building without giving him a constitutionally guaranteed ‘due process’ to defend himself.
‘What they said, though, is that we have to create rules and regulations for conduct, etc.,’ Trump said in his Fox interview. ‘We’re doing that. Were going to write them up right now.’
‘It’s not a big deal and if he misbehaves we’ll throw him out or we’ll stop the news conference.’
Having written rules and procedures would satisfy Acosta’s Fifth Amendment rights, Kelly said Friday, but CNN’s federal lawsuit would remain to challenge Trump on First Amendment freedom-of-the-press grounds.
Trump said Acosta’s refusal to take a seat during the Nov. 7 press conference meant other journalists ‘were unable to ask questions’ because he was ‘shouting out questions and making statements too.’
He predicted that in future news conferences ‘if I think somebody is acting out of sorts, I will leave. I will say, ‘Thank you very much everybody, I appreciate you coming.’ And I’ll leave.’
‘And those reporters will not be too friendly to whoever it is that’s acting up.’
He had already warned the political press corps on Friday not to rejoice too loudly about the court decision.
He predicted he will ultimately win CNN’s lawsuit once it can be shown that there are bright lines that reporters know they can’t cross.
‘We’re setting up a certain statndard which is what the court is requesting,’ he said, adding that ‘with the rules and regulations, we will end up back in court and we will win.’
Judge Kelly said Friday that Jim Acosta’s free-press rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution outweigh ‘the government’s interest in orderly, respectful press conferences.’
He declared in a stinging defeat for the president in his war on ‘fake news’ that the White House failed to give Acosta ‘due process,’ something guaranteed in government proceedings under the Fifth Amendment.
And he suggested that the White House exaggerated its contention that Acosta physically interfered with a female intern last week as she tried to reclaim a press conference microphone.
The reporter became the reported on Friday as journalists swarmed Acosta upon his return to the White House
Trump had his own gaggle of reporters quizzing him about the court ruling, but he said the White House was writing ‘rules and regulations’ to govern future cancellations of press passes
Acosta returned to the White House a few hours later, mobbed by photographers and wearing his ‘hard pass,’ the same one taken from him last Wednesday by a uniformed Secret Service officer who stopped him at the Pennsylvania Avenue gate.
‘I want to thank all of my colleagues in the press who supported us this week,’ he said outside the federal courthouse in Washington. ‘And I want to thank the judge for the decision he made today. And let’s go back to work.’
While Kelly ordered the White House to let Acosta back in the building, he said Trump and his spokespeople aren’t obligated to call on him during press conferences or let him ask questions. He also said the White House isn’t under any obligation to host reporters at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but it also can’t play favorites.
Trump signaled Friday that he is still upset by Acosta’s decision last week to badger him instead of handing the microphone to a female intern when he was told his question time in a press onference was over.
‘You can’t take three questions and four questions. You can’t stand up and not sit down,’ he vented.
‘When I see the way some of my people get treated at news conferences, it’s terrible.’
He also warned that he has ‘the option of leaving’ a press conference early if Acosta’s tactics become the norm, ‘and the other media and press in the room won’t be happy.’
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders watched as Trump spoke about the CNN ruling; she claimed a small victory earlier based on Judge Timothy Kelly’s ruling that reporters have no ‘absolute’ First Amendment right to do their work from inside the White House
A government lawyer told Judge Timothy Kelly on Wednesday that Trump, pictured during a fateful Nov. 7 press conference, would be within his legal rights to ban all reporters from the White House; Kelly agreed in principle but said that once the administration let them in it had to treat all reporters equally
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tried to squeeze a drop of lemonade out of Judge Kelly’s lemons.
‘Today, the court made clear that there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House,’ she said in a statement. ‘In response to the court, we will temporarily reinstate the reporter’s hard pass. We will also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future.’
Sanders ended by saying that in the Trump administration, ‘There must be decorum at the White House.’
There was near-unanimity in the political press corps’ backing of CNN, with more than a dozen news outlets signaling they would formally submit a supportive brief to Judge Kelly. Only One America News Network, a conservative outlet, publicly sided with Trump.
Kelly, a Trump appointee, emphasized that his ruling was temporary, saying: ‘I have not determined that the First Amendment was violated here.’
‘I want to emphasize the very limited nature of this ruling,’ he said, explaining that he only granted CNN’s emergency request on the basis that the White House’s decision seemed arbitrary.
He also explained that if the White House had canceled Acosta’s press pass based on a belief that he was a safety or security threat, it might have been forgiven for acting without notice.
But Kelly sided with CNN, ensuring Acosta will be able to re-enter the White House grounds. He noted that the government’s attorneys couldn’t tell him on Wednesday who had made the final decision to yank Acosta’s credentials, an indication that no formal process was involved.
‘Whatever process occurred within the government is still so shrouded in mystery that the government could not tell me at oral argument who made the initial decision to revoke Mr. Acosta’s press pass,’ he said.
Acosta left the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. after hearing the positive ruling
CNN attorney Ted Boutrous spoke to reporters following a hearing Wednesday as a protester held up a sign for news cameras
Acosta saw his press pass revoked last Wednesday after he clashed with an intern over a press conference microphone and harangued President Donald Trump
Acosta was banned from the White House last week after a heated exchange with President Trump during a press conference in which an intern tried to take his microphone away