A federal judge will hold a hearing on Wednesday on CNN's lawsuit against Donald Trump's administration alleging the White House violated correspondent Jim Acosta's constitutional rights by revoking his press credentials following a heated exchange with the U.S. president.
Stunningly, when Kelly asked DOJ lawyer James Burnham to explain the reason for the White House's ever changing explanation as to why it pulled Acosta's badge, Burnham shot back, "There doesn't need to be a reason, because there's no First Amendment protection and the President has broad discretion".
Wallace also accused the Trump administration of weaponizing the press passes by depriving a CNN journalist of one.
Acosta's White House "hard pass" was suspended last week following a heated interaction where he refused to give up the microphone to a White House intern after an aggressive series of questions. Indeed, Fox News primetime hosts have taken pot-shots at CNN anchors like Chris Cuomo, while CNN President Jeff Zucker has likened Fox News Channel to "state-run TV' and "a pure propaganda machine" for some of its personalities' on-screen fealty to President Trump. And the First Amendment does not impose stricter requirements when journalists, as a subset of the public, are granted or denied access to the White House".
The statement came from Jay Wallace, the president of Fox News, hours after Fox commentators like Sean Hannity publicly criticized Acosta and CNN.
The White House dismissed the lawsuit by calling the measure grandstanding by CNN.
After the incident, Donald Trump later stated that journalists might be barred if they were not "respectful". The CNN reporter continued to try to talk as the aide was seen trying to take the microphone from his hand. And so, I don't understand even now though with that -we're talking about the removal of the microphone, or whatever they were doing with the microphone -this is distorted video, Bill, of - defended Sarah Sanders, she tweeted this out, she said.
"I really think that when you have guys like Acosta, I think they're bad for the country", Trump continued. The First Amendment is not served when a single reporter, of more than 150 present, attempts to monopolise the floor. "Without a hard pass, a White House correspondent simply can not do his job".