Nov 16, 2018

White House ordered to return Jim Acosta’s press pass

President Trump spars with CNN's Jim Acosta during a press conference last week. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly issued a temporary restraining order Friday forcing the White House to reinstate CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials.

The big picture: Judge Kelly said it is likely that Acosta’s first and fifth amendment rights were violated when the White House suspended his press pass, saying he believes CNN and Acosta are likely to prevail in the case.

Why it matters: In his ruling, Judge Kelly is setting a precedent that future White House administrations and other elected officials need clear evidence of a security threat or operational burden created by reporters' actions in order to have the justification to revoke a press pass.

What they're saying:

  • Judge Kelly: "Whatever process occurred within the government is still so shrouded in mystery that the government could not tell me at oral argument who made the initial decision to revoke Mr. Acosta's press pass," according to Washington Post reporter Erik Wemple.
  • CNN statement: “We are gratified with this result and we look forward to a full resolution in the coming days. Our sincere thanks to all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press.”
  • White House statement: “Today, the court made clear that there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House. In response to the court, we will temporarily reinstate the reporter’s hard pass. We will also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future. There must be decorum at the White House.”
  • President Trump: "People have to behave. We're writing up rules and regulations ... you have to practice decorum ... we want total freedom of the press, that's very important to me. But you have to act with respect, you're at the White House."

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Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect new statements from the White House and President Trump.

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Trump flags travel adversaries for New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Trump said Saturday night the CDC would issue a "strong" travel advisory" for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and that a "quarantine will not be necessary."

The big picture: With more than 121,000 people infected, the U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, are reporting influxes of cases.

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Trump rules out quarantine in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut after pushback

President Trump on the White House grounds on Saturdya. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Saturday night that he's decided not to introduce quarantine enforcement measures fo New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut, but a "strong" travel advisory will be issued for those states.

Why it matters: The president said hours earlier he was considering the move to combat the rise in novel coronavirus cases. But he received pushback, most notably from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who told CNN it would cause "chaos." "This would be a federal declaration of war on states," Cuomo added.

Go deeper: Updates on coronavirus in the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 660,706 — Total deaths: 30,652 — Total recoveries: 139,304.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 121,478 — Total deaths: 2,026 — Total recoveries: 1,072.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump is considering a quarantine on New York, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters that supported Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are now balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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