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White House has to give CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass back: judge

Acosta pleased after judge rules White House must return press pass
WATCH: Acosta pleased after judge rules White House must return press pass.

A federal judge has ruled Friday that the White House must give back CNN reporter Jim Acosta‘s press credentials, which were revoked after a heated press conference with U.S. President Donald Trump.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly, who is an appointee of Trump, announced his decision in Washington, D.C., after more than a week-long battle between the White House and CNN.

READ MORE: CNN journalist Jim Acosta’s White House access revoked after spat with Trump

The judge said there should be due process in place for limiting a journalist’s access to the White House.

The White House issued a statement on the court ruling saying it will allow Acosta to return to work.

“Today, the court made clear that there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House,” White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders 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.”

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WATCH: Jim Acosta returns to the White House after credentials reinstated

Jim Acosta returns to the White House after judge orders press credentials be reinstated
Jim Acosta returns to the White House after judge orders press credentials be reinstated

Acosta clashed with Trump during a heated press conference on Nov. 7. Trump called the reporter “rude” and a “terrible person” after Acosta asked questions about the president’s reference to a migrant caravan headed to the U.S. from Central America as an “invasion.”

A White House intern then attempted to take a microphone away from Acosta, who continued to ask questions as Trump dismissed him.

WATCH: Video of Jim Acosta incident posted by White House Press Secretary contains extra frames

Video of Jim Acosta incident posted by White House Press Secretary contains extra frames
Video of Jim Acosta incident posted by White House Press Secretary contains extra frames

After the incident, Sanders tweeted a video appearing to show Acosta reacting aggressively to the intern; critics allege the video was doctored.

Sanders said in a statement that Acosta’s privileges had been revoked due to his interaction with the intern.

READ MORE: Trump says reporters should be ‘ashamed’ in long, hostile press conference

“[The White House will] never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern. This conduct is absolutely unacceptable,” Sanders said.

But CNN fought back and filed a lawsuit Tuesday morning, saying the revocation was a violation of his First Amendment right of freedom of the press.

WATCH: SNL mocks White House aide who attempted to take microphone from CNN’s Jim Acosta

SNL mocks White House aide who attempted to take microphone from CNN’s Jim Acosta
SNL mocks White House aide who attempted to take microphone from CNN’s Jim Acosta

Kelly did not address the First Amendment’s protections for freedom of speech and the press but instead focused on due process provisions of the Constitution that provide for fair treatment through a judicial process.

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After Acosta’s credentials were revoked, many news outlets, including Fox News, backed CNN’s lawsuit.

In a joint statement issued last week, the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Washington Post and others said they’re joining the fight, as “reporters covering the White House must remain free to ask questions.”

CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta smiles as he departs after a judge temporarily restored Acosta’s White House press credentials following a hearing at U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta smiles as he departs after a judge temporarily restored Acosta’s White House press credentials following a hearing at U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

— With files from Reuters