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White House Blasts CNN Lawsuit, Now Claims Jim Acosta Held Microphone Hostage

Lisa de Moraes

“Just more grandstanding,” the White House blasted this morning of CNN’s lawsuit over the pulling of Jim Acosta’s press credentials.

“We will vigorously defend against this lawsuit,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

CNN this morning filed its lawsuit against the White House this morning in DC District Court, for pulling Acosta’s press pass the day after President Donald Trump’s thumping in the midterm elections. “The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment right of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process,” CNN said in a statement, demanding the return of credentials to its chief White House correspondent. Read it here.

“CNN, who has nearly 50 additional hard pass holders, and Mr. Acosta is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment,” Sanders said in the White House’s official response.

While apparently dropping the he-inappropriately-touched-a-female-intern explanation for pulling Acosta’s credential, Sanders is now going with a he-held-the-microphone-hostage” storyline:

“After Mr. Acosta asked the President two questions — each of which the President answered — he physically refused to surrender a White House microphone to an intern, so that other reporters might ask their questions. This was not the first time this reporter has inappropriately refused to yield to other reporters.”

“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.”

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