Fox News President Jay Wallace announced the network's support of CNN's lawsuit against President Donald Trump and members of his administration.
CNN is suing Trump and several members of his administration over the White House's revocation of CNN's White House correspondent Jim Acosta's press pass.
The White House suspended Acosta's credentials after he and the president got into a spat last week during a news conference, in which Acosta refused to hand over the microphone to an intern who was attempting to retrieve it so that another reporter could ask questions.
The White House claimed that Acosta's handling of the situation justified the revocation of his press pass.
What did the Fox News president say?
In addition to voicing support for CNN, Wallace's emailed statement also noted that the network would be filing a "friend of the court" brief backing CNN in its lawsuit.
Wallace's statement read, "Fox News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter's press credential. We intend to file an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court. Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized."
"While we don't condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access, and open exchanges for the American people," Wallace's statement concluded.
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders — one of the people named in the suit — said that CNN's lawsuit was "grandstanding," and dismissed it as nothing more than attention-seeking.
Sanders said, “We have been advised that CNN has filed a complaint challenging the suspension of Jim Acosta’s hard pass. This is just more grandstanding from CNN, and we will vigorously defend against the lawsuit.”
“CNN, who has nearly 50 additional hard pass holders, and Mr. Acosta is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment,” the statement continued.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) November 13, 2018
What happened at the news conference?
Trump and Acosta faced off during a Nov. 7 White House news conference.
Trump called on Acosta and answered two of the CNN reporter's questions. The president went to move on from Acosta to the next reporter, but Acosta insisted on speaking over the president.
When a White House intern attempted to retrieve the microphone from Acosta, the CNN reporter refused to let go.
“Just sit down, please,” Trump 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.”
Acosta did eventually surrendered the microphone, but the White House also suspended Acosta's press pass.
Afterward, CNN public relations released a statement accusing Trump and his “ongoing attacks on the press” of perpetuating “disturbingly un-American” behaviors. CNN later requested that the White House reinstate Acosta’s pass, and notified the White House that a suit was imminent.
Six people are named as defendants in the suit, including Trump, Sanders, White House chief of staff John Kelly, White House deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine, Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy, and an unnamed Secret Service staffer.
In a statement regarding the impending suit, 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.