The network has filed a lawsuit demanding the return of the press credentials of CNN’s Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta.
Acosta was involved in a dramatic confrontation with the President during a press conference last week following the mid-term elections, during which Trump branded the reporter a “rude, terrible person”.
Acosta had refused to sit down after asking the President about a “racist” anti-immigration ad ahead of the elections, which were seen as a referendum on Trump’s political agenda.
Following the confrontation, the White House accused him of assaulting an intern who tried to take his microphone away. Acosta resisted relinquishing the microphone, prompting Trump’s criticism.
In a series of statements on Twitter, Press Secretary Sanders characterised Acosta’s actions as “placing his hands on a young woman”, though video of the exchange shows Acosta turning away as the intern reaches over to take the microphone from his hand.
In a statement, the network said: “CNN filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration this morning in DC District Court.
“It demands the return of the White House credentials of CNN’s Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process.
“We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process.”
The other people named in the suit are:
- Chief of Staff John Kelly
- Press Secretary Sarah Sanders,
- Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Bill Shine
- Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy
- and the Secret Service officer who took Acosta’s hard pass
On Tuesday Sanders dismissed the action as “just more grandstanding from CNN, and we will vigorously defend against this lawsuit.”