Trump: ‘We’re Writing Up Rules and Regulations’ for Reporter Decorum at Press Conferences

By Melanie Arter | November 16, 2018 | 1:23pm EST
President Donald Trump (Screenshot)

( – "People have to behave,” President Donald Trump said when asked about Friday’s ruling by U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia Judge Timothy J. Kelly giving CNN a temporary restraining order requiring the White House to return CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass.

“We're writing up rules and regulations,” Trump told reporters after signing a bill on cybersecurity and infrastructure security. “I think you were treated very unfairly. Both of you. Because you had somebody interrupting you. With the rules and regulations, we will end up back in court, and we will win."

Asked what he means about “rules and regulations,” Trump said, "Decorum. You can't take three questions and four questions, and you can't stand up and not sit down.

"We want total freedom of the press. It's more important to me than anybody would believe, but you have to act with respect. You're at the White House, and when I see the way some of my people get treated at news conferences, it's terrible,” he said.

“So we're setting up a certain standard, which is what the court is requesting, and always freedom of the press, always First Amendment, and that’s just the way it is,” the president said.

Trump said that members of the administration “always have the option of leaving,” adding that “the other media and press in the room won't be happy."


The judge did not rule on whether President Donald Trump and his aides violated Acosta’s First Amendment rights by suspending the hard pass in the first place.

Kelly did, however, rule on CNN’s Fifth Amendment argument that Acosta was denied due process before revoking the press pass, thus granting temporary relief by ordering Acosta’s pass be returned.

"I will grant the application for the temporary restraining order. I order the government reinstate the pass,” Kelly ruled.

The temporary injunction last for 14 days, after which time CNN can apply for a permanent injunction.

The White House said it will abide by the judge’s ruling and return Acosta’s pass.

“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,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

CNN reacted to the ruling, saying the network was “gratified with this result” and looks “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," CNN said in a statement reacting to the ruling.

The White House Correspondents’ Association, which - as previously reported - filed a friend of the court brief in support of Acosta and CNN’s lawsuit, said it welcomed Friday’s ruling.

“The White House Correspondents’ Association welcomes today’s ruling, in which a federal judge made it clear that the White House cannot arbitrarily revoke a White House press pass. We thank all of the news outlets and individual reporters who stood up in recent days for the vital role a free and independent news media plays in our republic,” WHCA President Olivier Knox said in a statement.


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