WH Spells Out New Press Rules After Acosta Incident 一 Hard Pass Suspension Is Still on the Table

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The White House was slammed by CNN after taking away their chief correspondent, Jim Acosta’s, hard pass, resulting in a judge ordering the return of the hard pass to him. Now, the White House has laid out new restrictions for reporters attending press conferences with President Donald Trump and other officials.

In a press conference following the 2018 midterm elections, Trump and Acosta engaged in a heated exchange — leading a White House intern to attempt to take away the microphone from the CNN reporter while he continued with questions.

The exchange resulted in the White House suspending his credentials, and a lawsuit between CNN and the White House — until a U.S. District judge ordered the pass to be temporarily returned.

Watch the exchange below:

After the White House returned Acosta’s hard pass, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reacted in a White House statement that they were putting in place further “rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future.”

“There must be decorum at the White House,” Sanders said.

The president mirrored Sanders’ statement in a White House statement, saying, “We have to practice decorum.”

Appearing on Fox News’ “Hannity” following Acosta’s return to the White House, Sanders said:

“The very basic minimum is that if certain reporters like Jim Acosta can’t be adults, then CNN needs to send somebody in there who can be.”

Carlos Barria/Reuters

“This afternoon we have notified Jim Acosta and CNN that his hard pass has been restored,” Sanders said in a White House statement on Monday.

She added that they notified him of “certain rules that will govern White House press conferences going forward.”

CNN announced that they have dropped their lawsuit against the White House.

The new White House press conference rules:

  1. A journalist called upon to ask a question will ask a single question and then will yield the floor to other journalists.

  2. At the discretion of the President or other White House official taking questions, a follow-up question or questions may be permitted; and where a follow up has been allowed and asked, the questioner will then yield the floor.

  3. “Yielding the floor” includes, when applicable, physically surrendering the microphone to White House staff for use by the next questioner.

  4. Failure to abide by any of rules 1-3 may result in suspension or revocation of the journalist’s hard pass.

In addition to explaining the new rules, Sanders said that since the incident with Acosta, they now “feel obligated to replace previously shared practices with explicit rules.”

“President Trump believes strongly in the First Amendment, and a free press and is the most accessible President in modern history.  It would be a great loss for all if, instead of relying on the professionalism of White House journalists, we were compelled to devise a lengthy and detailed code of conduct for White House events.”

The White House sent a letter to Acosta about the November 7 incident detailing how his “behavior” that day during the press conference “violated the basic standards governing such events” and is “in our preliminary judgment, sufficient factual basis to revoke your hard pass” — again.

What do you think?

11 pledges
Upvote Downvote


newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Billy Jackson

To be referred to as the “Acosta Rule” from this day forward.

John A. Witt

CNN should have fired Acosta. If he is the front man for CNN he will do it again. And now with the new rules he may be gone. I would not call on him and ignore his requests.

Sam Dorman

I think it’s good for the White House to set some ground rules given how recent press briefings have gone. The single question rule does seem a little excessive though.

Annie Farrell

Really interesting article! Check out this link for IJR Blue’s perspective on these new rules too: https://ijr.com/white-houses-rules-for-reporters-easier-to-get-away-with-lies/





‘President Clinton Famously Missed His Shot’: Trump Slams Clinton Foreign Policy, Fake News, and Bin Laden on Twitter

Suicide Bomber Kills Over 50 at Religious Event in Kabul