In a series of tweets on Tuesday, the cable news network detailed its lawsuit, which “demands the return” of Acosta’s credentials and accuses Trump of violating the First and Fifth Amendments.
Update: In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed the legal action as “just more grandstanding from CNN, and we will vigorously defend against this lawsuit,” adding: “The White House cannot run an orderly and fair press conference when the reporter acts [as Acosta did], which is neither appropriate nor professional.”
The lawsuit comes on the heels of the now-infamous dust-up between Trump and Acosta at a post-midterms press conference on Nov. 7. After Acosta had asked his first question, Trump attempted to stop the journalist from asking a follow-up, and a White House intern stepped in to take the microphone away from Acosta, to no avail.
“CNN should be ashamed of itself, having you working for them. You are a rude, terrible person,” Trump told Acosta, once he had asked a follow-up about Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation. “You shouldn’t be working for CNN. You’re a very rude person. The way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible, and the way you treat other people is horrible. You shouldn’t treat people that way.”
Later that day, Acosta was denied access to the White House, and Secret Service agents asked him to surrender his credential. The White House went on to say that Acosta was “placing his hands on a young woman” when he attempted to stop the intern from taking his microphone during that afternoon’s press conference.
“The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process,” CNN said in a statement on Tuesday. “While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone. If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.”
Read the network’s full complaint below: