CNN sues Trump and White House aides over barring of reporter

White House suspends credentials for CNN's Jim Acosta

CNN filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Trump administration over the revocation of press credentials for White House correspondent Jim Acosta, after a heated exchange between him and President Donald Trump.

Acosta banishment from the White House marked an escalation in tensions between the president and his chief media antagonist.

Trump also laced into another African-American journalist, Abby Phillip of CNN, who asked the president if he wanted the new acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, to "rein in" the investigation being led by the special counsel, Robert Mueller.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway asserted Sunday that a "sped-up" video is not the same as an "altered" video, while defending the White House's use of an altered video of a hand motion made by CNN reporter Jim Acosta in order to justify suspending his press pass.

She alleged that Acosta "physically refused to surrender a White House microphone to an intern", softening the earlier misconduct accusation and then casting blame on the journalist for his persistent questioning. "So whether it's CNN suing or the next company suing, someone's going to have to bring a lawsuit, and whoever does is going to win" unless the White House can show that Acosta is violent and disruptive.

The suit alleges that Acosta and CNN's First and Fifth Amendment rights are being violated by the ban.

"They don't need to cover a man who is picking fights with them for the objective of turning out his base", [the Democratic strategist] said.

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Acosta, meanwhile, is in Paris, where Trump will be landing later on Friday. And he has spared some reporters of color, such as Fox News White House correspondent Kevin Corke, who is black.

The National Association of Black Journalists on Friday said Trump's comments towards Ryan, Philip and Alcindor were "appalling, irresponsible and should be denounced". Paul Joseph Watson, an editor-at-large for InfoWars, says the video was not doctored, but was made from a GIF, which he claims explains the anomalies.

A number of prominent journalism advocacy groups have come to Acosta's defense and called for an immediate restoration of his press pass.

Asked how long Acosta will be denied the credential allowing him to work inside the White House, Trump said he hadn't decided and seemed to indicate that the extremely unusual sanction could be applied to more journalists.

"It is the essential function of a free press in every democracy to independently gather and report information in the public interest, a right that is enshrined in the First Amendment", said Julie Pace, AP's Washington bureau chief.

It says: "These frames do not appear in the original C-SPAN footage, and appear to exaggerate the action of Acosta". The network has reached out to the White House on the issue but has "gotten no response". The First Amendment is not served when a single reporter, of more than 150 present, attempts to monopolize the floor. "In fact, she asked the most pertinent question of the day", CNN said.

"It's ironic, Jim", she said, "that not only you and the media attack the president for his rhetoric, when they frequently lower the level of conversation in this country". He also asked why Mr. President consider it as an invasion?

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