White House says it has 'broad discretion' on press access

Published 11-14-2018

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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump's administration contends it has "broad discretion" to regulate press access to the White House as it fends off a legal challenge from CNN and other outlets over the revocation of journalist Jim Acosta's "hard pass."

In a legal filing ahead of a Wednesday hearing on CNN's request for a temporary restraining order to restore Acosta's access, the government argues it "was lawful" to punish Acosta for his behavior during a contentious Trump press conference last week.

The White House's explanations for why it seized Acosta's "hard pass," which grants reporters as-needed access to the 18-acre complex, have shifted over the last week. Acosta has repeatedly clashed with Trump and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in briefings over the last two years.

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FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2018, file photo, CNN journalist Jim Acosta does a standup before a new conference with President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House in Washington. CNN sued the Trump administration Tuesday, demanding that correspondent Jim Acosta's credentials to cover the White House be returned because it violates the constitutional right of freedom of the press. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) - The Associated Press


FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2018 file photo, President Donald Trump watches as a White House aide reaches to take away a microphone from CNN journalist Jim Acosta during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington. CNN is suing the Trump administration, demanding that Acosta's press credentials to cover the White House be returned. The administration revoked them last week following President Trump's contentious news conference, where Acosta refused to give up a microphone when the president said he didn't want to hear anything more from him. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) - The Associated Press