EXCLUSIVE: Trump Not Sure On Beating CNN Lawsuit — Calls Acosta ‘Bad For The Country’
President Donald Trump expressed hope but was not certain that his White House would prevail in a lawsuit filed by CNN regarding the revoking of reporter Jim Acosta’s press credentials, as he told The Daily Caller in an exclusive Oval Office interview.
When asked specifically whether he expected his White House to prevail in the lawsuit brought by CNN, he told TheDC, “I don’t know, we should … We’ll see how the court rules. Is it freedom of the press when somebody comes in and starts screaming questions and won’t sit down?”
CNN filed suit against the White House Tuesday morning in DC District Court. It claims the revocation of Acosta’s press pass violates their First and Fifth Amendment rights. CNN’s lawsuit alleges that “Acosta’s ability to perform his duties as CNN’s Chief White House correspondent is effectively eliminated.”
“If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials,” the suit adds.
The White House revoked Acosta’s credentials last week claiming that he laid hands on an intern after refusing to surrender the microphone during a press conference. (RELATED: CNN Sues The White House Over Jim Acosta’s Revoked Press Credentials)
The president continued in an extended riff that believed strongly that Acosta’s refusal to give up the mike and general “grandstanding” was unfair to the rest of the White House press corps. “Jim Acosta is just somebody who gets up and grandstands, he doesn’t even know what he’s asking you half of the time.”
Of Acosta’s alleged kerfuffle with a White House intern, Trump said, “He was very rude to the young lady,” but the president focused his ire on the CNN reporter’s style of journalism.
The president continued, “I really think that when you have guys like Acosta, I think they’re bad for the country … He’s just an average guy who’s a grandstander who’s got the guts to stand up and shout.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed CNN’s lawsuit after it was filed Tuesday saying in a statement:
The White House cannot run an orderly and fair press conference when a reporter acts this way, which is neither appropriate nor professional. The First Amendment is not served when a single reporter, of more than 150 present, attempts to monopolize the floor. If there is no check on this type of behavior it impedes the ability of the President, the White House staff, and members of the media to conduct business.
Watch ‘Unfake The News’: How Bogus Is CNN’s Lawsuit Against The White House?
Amber Athey contributed to this report.