White House restores Jim Acosta’s press pass

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta returns to the White House after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta returns to the White House after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Originally posted Monday, November 19, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

The White House on Monday abruptly changed course, voluntarily restoring CNN reporter Jim Acosta's press pass again permanently.

On Friday, a federal court case forced the White House to give him his pass back for 14 days.

Over the weekend, the White House had signaled it would revoke his press pass again after those 14 days. 
CNN plans to drop the lawsuit.

Though Acosta gets his pass again, the letter threatened that if he doesn't follow the proper rules, they could readdress the issue. One of the new rules: reporters can ask only one question at a time with discretion for follow-up questions. "Decorum," is how Donald Trump described it.

"If he misbehaves," said Trump in a Fox News interview over the weekend, clearly referring to Acosta, "we'll throw him out or we'll stop the news conference.”

The original lawsuit cited First Amendment (free speech) and Fifth Amendment (due process) issues.

Acosta parried with Trump during a post-midterm election press conference and refused to relinquish his microphone. Trump called him “rude” and his “hard pass” that gave him broad rights to enter and leave the White House was taken away from him soon after. CNN sued last week and won a temporary restraining order that forced the White House to give Acosta access again for 14 days. The Trump administration has accused Acosta of lacking decorum and showboating.