White House urged to reinstate CNN correspondent

Committee to Protect Journalists calls on White House to reinstate CNN's Jim Acosta's press pass.

Ben Ariel ,

White House staff member steps in to try to take Acosta microphone
White House staff member steps in to try to take Acosta microphone

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Thursday called on the White House to reinstate CNN correspondent Jim Acosta's press pass, which was revoked a day earlier after his fiery exchange with President Donald Trump during a press conference.

In a statement quoted by The Hill, the CPJ said that journalists should be "able to do their job without fear that a tough series of questions will provoke retaliation."

"The White House should immediately reinstate Jim Acosta's press pass, and refrain from punishing reporters by revoking their access — that's not how a free press works," CPJ advocacy director Courtney Radsch added.

"In the current climate, we hope President Trump will stop insulting and denigrating reporters and media outlets, it's making journalists feel unsafe," continued Radsch.

During Wednesday’s press conference, Acosta questioned Trump about his characterization of a migrant caravan making its way to the US border from Mexico as “an invasion.”

Acosta continued to press Trump, despite Trump’s demand that he "put down the mic," before a White House official finally took the microphone away from him.

Trump then scolded Acosta, calling him a “rude, terrible person" and adding, “CNN should be ashamed of itself having you work for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN.”

Hours later, the White House announced that it had suspended Acosta's credentials due to the fact that Acosta become physical with a young female intern as he tried to ask Trump a question during the news conference.

“President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern,” tweeted White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

“This is a lie,” tweeted Acosta in response.

Trump has been a vocal critic of much of the mainstream media, and particularly of CNN.

Shortly after Trump was elected president, he and Acosta got into a shouting match similar to that which occurred on Wednesday, when Acosta insisted on asking Trump a question after Trump dismissed a CNN report on Russian hackers having sensitive information about him.

Acosta kept insisting on asking his question, and Trump told him, “Don’t be rude”, before concluding with, “You are fake news.”