Fox News says to back CNN in court battle with W.House

File The White House dismissed CNN's complaint as

File The White House dismissed CNN's complaint as"grandstanding and vowed to"vigorously defend against the lawsuit. Saul Loeb AFP

The Trump White House said CNN's lawsuit was nothing but grandstanding-and that it has wide discretion in how it regulates its pressroom.

"Fox News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter's press credential", the news channel's president Jay Wallace said in a statement.

Numerous media outlets including Fox News have said they intend to file amicus briefs in support of CNN.

12 other news organizations have also come out in support of the "independent journalist", including Bloomberg and the Associated Press.

The White House had suspended Acosta's hard pass after he sparred at a news conference with the president, who demanded that the reporter give up the microphone and called him a "rude, awful person" when he did not immediately comply. "The White House can not get away with this", he said in an interview with CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin. CNN filed the federal lawsuit against the Trump administration on Tuesday, demanding that it be restored.

A White House intern then approached him to try to take the microphone away from him.

Fox News is the first TV network to announce an intention to file a friend-of-the-court brief in support of CNN.

Later that evening, Acosta tweeted that he had been denied entrance to the White House. "CNN, who has almost 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".

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Sanders later said Acosta's credentials had been revoked because he was depriving other reporters of the chance to ask questions. In an irony that seems lost on the author of the pleadings, the fact that Trump has continued to engage with CNN reporters, including Jim Acosta during the very press conference in controversy, argues against their case.

Suing to restore CNN reporter Jim Acosta's press credentials is just playing into the spotlight-loving president's hands, he said.

"The president is generally free to open the White House doors to political allies, in the hopes of furthering a particular agenda, and he is equally free to invite in only political foes, in the hopes of convincing them of his position", the government filing reads. Acosta's "hard pass" - which allows expedited access to the White House - was revoked hours later. The First Amendment is not served when a single reporter, of more than 150 present, attempts to monopolise the floor.

But Sanders on Tuesday countered the lawsuit, saying: "We have been advised that CNN has filed a complaint challenging the suspension of Jim Acosta's hard pass".

"CNN, who has almost 50 additional hard pass holders, and Acosta is no more or less special than any other media outlet or reporter with respect to the First Amendment". But the two have supported each other in the past when it comes to press access.

It appears that CNN may also have legal precedent on its side.

"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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