White House says it has ‘broad discretion’ on press access

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Fox News, the conservative-leaning outlet known as President Trump's favorite news channel, said on Wednesday that it supports CNN's legal effort to get Jim Acosta's White House press credentials back.

The written brief was filed hours ahead of a court hearing on CNN's request for an order to reinstate Acosta's press pass. Hearing the case is US District Judge Timothy Kelly, appointed previous year by Trump.

Acosta's White House "hard pass" was suspended last week following a heated interaction where he refused to give up the microphone to a White House intern after an aggressive series of questions. President Nixon's battles with the news media were legendary, and much more recently President Obama had an openly antagonistic relationship with Fox News.

The White House sent four government lawyers to defend Trump's decision to revoke Acosta's White House credentials.

"We have been advised that CNN has filed a complaint challenging the suspension of Jim Acosta's hard pass".

Among them are The Associated Press, Bloomberg, The Washington Post and, most surprisingly, Fox News, which announced its intent to file an amicus brief Wednesday. Trump has repeatedly criticized CNN's coverage of the White House, characterizing it as "fake news", which he did again at the November 7 press conference.

CNN CEO Jeff Zucker, in a letter to White House chief of staff John Kelly, called it a "pattern of targeted harassment".

CNN and Acosta filed suit against President Donald Trump and top aides on Tuesday for stripping Acosta, without warning, of his access to the White House, where he works daily.

"Whether the news of the day concerns national security, the economy, or the environment, reporters covering the White House must remain free to ask questions".

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And at Politico, commentator Jack Shafer wrote that the White House surely called on Acosta a lot, for being the "rude, bad person" Trump described him as being.

"You really want to go after him, stop inviting liars on your network to tell everybody how great he is", Meyers said, and showed a graphic of former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci and Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.

On Tuesday, the White House dismissed CNN's actions, saying the network was merely grandstanding.

"Jim Acosta has no constitutional right to be admitted to the White House, period", Limbaugh added.

Wallace said Fox News meant to file a formal brief in support of CNN with the court ahead of an afternoon hearing. "And the First Amendment does not impose stricter requirements when journalists, as a subset of the public, are granted or denied access to the White House".

Earlier, Trump's administration contended it had "broad discretion" to regulate press access to the White House.

The press secretary said Acosta's inappropriate and unprofessional behavior could not be tolerated in the interest of running an "orderly and fair press conference".

How the due process rights guaranteed of pass applicants can mandate the President keep in place a reporter that the White House has deemed unwelcome remains to be seen and was not discussed in the pleadings.

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