CNN sued Donald Trump's administration Tuesday, alleging the White House violated journalist Jim Acosta's constitutional rights by revoking his press credentials following a heated exchange with the United States president.
While Trump called the reporter who asked about the video "dishonest", that was mild compared to his treatment of April Ryan, a White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, and CNN's Abby Phillip.
President Trump and Acosta got into a "White House press tantrum" during a press conference this week to the point where an intern tried to physically grab the mic away from the CNN reporter. On his "Watters' World" show Saturday, Watters said Acosta is trying to be "the Rosa Parks" of journalism, invoking the African-American civil rights activist who in 1955 famously refused to give up her bus seat to a white man.
"Mr. President, will you stop calling the press the enemy of the people?" he asked.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway asserted Sunday that a "sped-up" video is not the same as an "altered" video, while defending the White House's use of an altered video of a hand motion made by CNN reporter Jim Acosta in order to justify suspending his press pass.
The White House Correspondents' Assocation welcomed CNN's lawsuit, saying "revoking access to the White House complex amounted to disproportionate reaction to the events".
The CNN reporter Acosta said: "But your campaign had an ad showing migrants climbing over walls". "You have to treat the White House with respect, you have to treat the presidency with respect". And he has spared some reporters of color, such as Fox News White House correspondent Kevin Corke, who is black.
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CNN's lawsuit, he added, "is critical to preserve the media's ability to ask hard questions and hold the government accountable ..."
Because the White House briefing room isn't the appropriate place to deliver commentary in the form of questions.
The tweeted video also does not have any audio, which Shapiro said would make it easier to doctor. "That's just a lie", said Kimmel. The White House announced later that Acosta's credentials had been revoked.
The unusual suit, an escalation of Trump's long-running war of words with CNN, seeks a judge's intervention after Trump banished Acosta from the White House grounds for an indefinite period after a brief altercation between Acosta and a White House press aide. It would be nice if Acosta's colleagues, CNN, and the White House Correspondents' Association would rebuke Acosta for having been in the wrong. In fact as the video of the press conference below shows clearly, it was the US President who was being nasty, and rude even as he accused the reporter of being the same.
Acosta has been one of the more visible thorns in the side of the White House.
Richard Tofel, the president of ProPublica, tweeted on Friday morning, "What is the plan for when Trump concocts an excuse for vetoing a reporter" from the New York Times or Washington Post? "But I watch you a lot - you ask a lot of stupid questions".