(Bloomberg) —The White House is backing off a fight with CNN over correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass, according to the network.
The White House said it made a final determination and decided Acosta’s “hard pass is restored,” CNN said in a statement. The decision was made three days after a judge had ordered the White House to restore Acosta’s pass on a temporary basis and ends a weeklong legal fight that united the media against the administration.
The restoration of Acosta’s pass also came with a warning, according to a letter to Acosta from Bill Shine, assistant to the president, and Sarah Sanders, the White House Press Secretary. CNN provided a copy of the letter.
“Should you refuse to follow these rules in the future, we will take action,” the administration said in the letter. “The president is aware of this decision and concurs.”
The president banned the reporter on Nov. 7, following a contentious press conference during which Acosta pressed Trump to answer a question and refused to yield the microphone even as a White House aide attempted to take it from him. Moments later, Trump called the reporter “a rude, terrible person.”
That evening, Acosta was told to surrender his press credential, after which Sanders said the move was justified by a video clip appearing to show him striking the aide’s arm as she reached for the mic. The video was doctored to make it look that way, according to critics.
CNN filed suit on Nov. 13, asserting the revocation — which came without prior warning — violated Acosta’s rights, including freedom of the press. The administration later said its action was justified by the reporter’s refusal to hand over the microphone and sit down, abandoning its earlier reliance upon the video.
Two days later, Kelly heard two hours of argument over whether the reporter had a right of access and, if so, whether the administration could rescind it without prior notice and a chance to contest the decision. In a decision read from the bench on Nov. 16, the judge said the network and its correspondent had shown a likelihood they’d succeed on the merits of their due process claim and ordered Acosta reinstated.
Later same that day, the president said he would impose new press conference rules.
“People have to behave,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “You have to act with respect. You’re in the White House.”
The case is Cable News Network Inc. v. Trump, 18-cv-2610, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).
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