Trump argues in court filing that he has the right to restrict reporter access to White House

President Donald Trump is not sure how the legal battle with CNN will turn out but he has no doubts about the “grandstander” reporter, Jim Acosta .

Ahead of a scheduled federal court hearing on CNN’s lawsuit against the White House, the president was asked by The Daily Caller if he thought the White House would prevail in court.

(Image: screengrab)

“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?” Trump said in an interview with The Daily Caller in the Oval Office.

“Jim Acosta is just somebody who gets up and grandstands, he doesn’t even know what he’s asking you half of the time,” he continued.

The network had demanded a temporary restraining order from a federal judge to have their chief White House correspondent’s press credentials restored, which the White House has refused to do.

A legal filing by the Department of Justice on Wednesday pushed back on CNN’s demands, saying neither Acosta nor any other journalist has a Constitutional right to enter the White House, The Hill reported.

“No journalist has a First Amendment right to enter the White House,” a filing written by three Justice Department lawyers stated.

“The president and White House possess the same broad discretion to regulate access to the White House for journalists (and other members of the public) that they possess to select which journalists receive interviews, or which journalists they acknowledge at press conferences,” the filing continued.

CNN argued in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that last week’s suspension of Acosta’s press pass violated his constitutional rights to free speech and due process. The White House temporarily revoked the reporter’s credentials last week after Acosta got in a heated exchange with President Donald Trump at a press conference in which he refused to give up the microphone even as a White House intern attempted to take it away from him.

“This severe and unprecedented punishment is the culmination of years of hostility by President Trump against CNN and Acosta based on the contents of their reporting—an unabashed attempt to censor the press and exclude reporters from the White House who challenge and dispute the President’s point of view,” CNN alleged in its lawsuit.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders fired back at the network after the suit was filed, dismissing it as “just more grandstanding from CNN,” and vowing to “vigorously defend” against it.

“The White House cannot run an orderly and fair press conference when a reporter acts this way, which is neither appropriate nor professional,” Sanders said. “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.”

Meanwhile, multiple news organizations including Fox News are standing in support of CNN. Jay Wallace, president of Fox News, announced Tuesday that said his network plans to file a legal brief in support of CNN.

Trump, meanwhile, found Acosta to be “very rude to the young lady,” referring to the intern. He also is clealrly not a fan of Acosta’s style.

“I really think that when you have guys like Acosta, I think they’re bad for the country,” Trump told the Daily Caller. “He’s just an average guy who’s a grandstander who’s got the guts to stand up and shout.”

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Frieda Powers

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