Media companies are backing CNN and Jim Acosta’s lawsuit against President Donald Trump that claims the correspondent’s First Amendment rights were violated after his White House hard pass was taken away. Acosta discovered he was no longer allowed in the White House after a confrontation with Trump at a press briefing escalated.
The Associated Press, Bloomberg L.P., First Look Media Works, Inc., Fox News, Gannett, National Press Club Journalism Institute, NBC News, The New York Times Co., Politico, Press Freedom Defense Fund, E.W. Scripps Company, USA Today Network, and The Washington Post all filed the following brief:
“Whether the news of the day concerns national security, the economy, or the environment, reporters covering the White House must remain free to ask questions. It is imperative that the independent journalists have access to the President and his activities, and that journalists are not barred for arbitrary reasons. Our news organizations support the fundamental constitutional right to question this President, or any President. We will be filing friend-of-the-court briefs to support CNN’s and Jim Acosta’s lawsuit based on these principles.”
The support from Fox News may come as surprise, as the network often backs the president and criticizes CNN, but the company stood firmly by Acosta. As reported by Politico, Fox News president Jay Wallace issued a statement that ultimately supported CNN and Acosta:
“Secret Service passes for 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.”
Watch the exchange between Trump and Acosta below:
“You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN,” Trump told CNN’s Jim Acosta during a press conference in which he repeatedly clashed with reporters. pic.twitter.com/OvWCcFap5g
— POLITICO (@politico) November 7, 2018
The White House has not yet responded to the brief from the media companies, but press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted after the incident that she and the White House stand by their decision to take Acosta’s pass.