‘What, like they’re going to hate us more?’ White House says it would be legal to ban ‘all reporters’ from entering the building as government lawyers defend Trump’s decision to boot CNN’s Jim Acosta

Thursday, November 15, 2018
By Paul Martin

White House denied Acosta access last week and confiscated his ‘hard pass’ after press-conference shouting match with Trump and tussle over a mic
CNN sued on Tuesday on First Amendment grounds, claimed Acosta was denied a Fifth Amendent right to due process, and asked a judge for a restraining order
On Friday Trump told DailyMail.com that he hasn’t decided how long Acosta will be without credentials, and more bans may follow
The White House fired back in court on Wednesday, saying that reporters don’t have a First Amendment right to enter the White House on-demand
One lawyer argued that ‘if the president wants to exclude all reporters from the White House grounds, he has the authority to do that’
A White House official told DailyMail.com that the administration isn’t worried about how journalists would react: ‘What, like they’re going to hate us more?’
Administration says it can choose who enters, just as it chooses who gets interviews, who attends press conferences and whose questions Trump answers
CNN still has about 50 employees with hard passes, and Acosta has still appeared on the air

15 November 2018

Amid a legal tussle over the White House’s decision to eject a CNN reporter last week, a Trump administration lawyer argued on Wednesday that the president would be within his legal rights to send the entire press corps packing.

‘If the president wants to exclude all reporters from the White House grounds, he has the authority to do that,’ the attorney said during a closely watched court hearing.

He was describing a scenario where the administration would move reporters, editors, TV producers and camera operators to another government facility and not speculating about limiting their ability to report or publish, according to a White House aide who declined to be identified on Thursday.

Any theoretical disruption to the close-in access journalists enjoy in the headquarters of the world’s most powerful government would send news organizations howling.

That prospect didn’t faze the official who spoke to DailyMail.com and said: ‘What, like they’re going to hate us more?’

Trump said Wednesday that CNN’s Jim Acosta, who has been banned from the White House complex for the past eight days, is ‘bad for the country.’

The lawyer said hours later that ‘there‚Äôs no First Amendment right’ to be physically present in the building Trump works.

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