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Breaking: CNN sues President Trump for revoking Jim Acosta's White House pass

President Donald Trump (right) gets into a heated exchange with CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta (center) as NBC correspondent Peter Alexander (left) looks on during a news conference Nov. 7, 2018, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. CNN is suing the White House after it barred Acosta from the White House following this incident. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

UPDATE — Nov. 13 at 11:04 a.m.: Buzzfeed reports that the CNN case has been assigned to District Judge Timothy J. Kelly, who was appointed by Trump in 2017. Before his appointment, Kelly had spent four years working for Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

Original story below

CNN has sued President Donald Trump and five other individuals over the White House's decision to suspend CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta's White House access.

What happened with Acosta?

On Nov. 7, Trump and Acosta had a heated exchange during a White House news conference. After being called on, Acosta had started his line of questioning by saying, “Thank you, Mr. President. I want to challenge you on one of the statements you made in the tail end of the campaign, in the midterms.”

“Here we go,” Trump responded, showing his obvious distaste for Acosta.

Trump eventually told Acosta that he was done answering questions from him for the day. When a female intern tried to take the microphone from Acosta, he held onto it. The White House later released a video of this encounter with the interaction sped up.

News outlets criticized the move, saying that it made the interaction look more violent than it actually was. The White House defended the move, saying that the interaction was sped up, but not “doctored.”

At the end of the exchange, Acosta tried to stand back up to say something else. Trump waved his hand dismissively at Acosta.

“Just sit down, please," he said. "Well, when you report fake news — no. When you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people.”


Later that same day, CNN's PR department released a statement saying that Trump's “ongoing attacks on the press” were “dangerous” and “disturbingly un-American.”


What about the lawsuit?

On Friday, CNN had sent a letter to the White House asking for Acosta's press pass to be reinstated. According to CNN's own reporting on the matter, this letter mentioned that a lawsuit would be following.

The lawsuit names six people as defendants: Trump, White House chief of staff John Kelly, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, White House deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine, Secret Service director Joseph Clancy, and an unnamed Secret Service officer. The last defendant, who presumably was following orders and did not have a say in whether or not Acosta was barred from the White House, but he was the one who physically took away Acosta's pass.

In a statement regarding the lawsuit, CNN said:

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. While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone. If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.
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