U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly said Mr. Acosta’s credentials would be reactivated to allow him access to the White House.
A federal judge on November 16 ordered the Trump administration to immediately return the White House press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta.
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly, an appointee of President Donald Trump, announced his decision following a hearing in Washington. The judge said Mr. Acosta’s credentials would be returned immediately and reactivated to allow him access to the White House.
CNN had asked that Mr. Acosta’s credentials be returned while a lawsuit over their revocation goes forward.
The network’s chief White House correspondent has clashed repeatedly with Mr. Trump and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in briefings over the last two years. But the White House pulled his credentials last week following a combative press conference in which he clashed with Mr. Trump.
The White House revoked Mr. Acosta’s credentials after he and Mr. Trump tangled during a press conference last week. Mr. Trump has made his dislike of CNN clear since before he took office and continuing into his presidency. He has described the network as “fake news” both on Twitter and in public comments.
At last week’s press conference , which followed the midterm elections, Mr. Trump was taking questions from reporters and called on Mr. Acosta, who asked about Mr. Trump’s statements about a caravan of migrants making its way to the U.S.-Mexico border. After a terse exchange, Mr. Trump told Mr. Acosta, “That’s enough”, several times while calling on another reporter.
Mr. Acosta attempted to ask another question about special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and initially declined to give up a hand-held microphone to a White House intern. Mr. Trump responded to Mr. Acosta by saying he wasn’t concerned about the investigation, calling it a “hoax”, and then criticised Mr. Acosta, calling him a “rude, terrible person”.
The White House pulled Mr. Acosta’s credentials hours later. The White House’s explanations for why it seized Mr. Acosta’s credentials have shifted over the last week.
Ms. Sanders initially explained the decision by accusing Mr. Acosta of making improper physical contact with the intern seeking to grab the microphone.
But that rationale disappeared after witnesses backed Mr. Acosta’s account that he was just trying to keep the microphone, and Ms. Sanders distributed a doctored video that made it appear Mr. Acosta was more aggressive than he actually was. On November 13, Ms. Sanders accused Mr. Acosta of being unprofessional by trying to dominate the questioning at the news conference.