Trump: Returning Acosta's Press Pass 'Not A Big Deal'; New Rules Coming Soon

By Susan Jones | November 19, 2018 | 10:22am EST
CNN's Jim Acosta made himself the headline at President Trump's Nov. 7 post-election news conference. (Photo: Screen capture/C-SPAN)

( - "It's not a big deal," President Trump said on Friday, when Fox News's Chris Wallace asked him to comment on a federal judge's temporary ruling ordering the White House to return Jim Acosta's press pass.

"A federal judge who you appointed has just ruled that you must give CNN reporter Jim Acosta his press pass back. Your reaction to the ruling?" Wallace asked Trump in an interview that aired Sunday.

"I -- it's fine, I mean, it's not a big deal," Trump responded. "What they said, though, was that we have to create rules and regulations for conduct, et cetera, et cetera. We're doing that. We're going to write them up right now, it's not a big deal. And if he misbehaves, we'll throw him out, or we'll stop the news conference.

Trump said his team is writing the "rules of decorum" right now.

"You know, you can't keep asking questions. You have -- we had a lot of reporters in that room, many, many reporters in that room, and they were unable to ask questions because this guy gets up and starts doing what he's supposed to be doing for him and for CNN, and, you know, just shouting out questions.

"But I will say this. Look, nobody believes in the First Amendment more than I do, and if I think somebody's acting out of sorts, I will leave, I'll say thank you very much, everybody, I appreciate you coming and I'll leave. And those reporters will not be too friendly to whoever it is that's acting up."

Wallace asked Trump why he called on Acosta in the first place, at the post-election news conference on Nov. 7. 

"Actually, I like to do it, but in many cases I don't," the president said in typical Trump yes-no fashion. "He'll stand up. He's unbelievably rude to Sarah Huckabee who's a wonderful woman, unbelievably rude. And I see that and I actually ask her the same. Why do you call on these people that are so nasty?

"I think one of the things we'll do is maybe turn the camera off that faces them because then they don't have any air time, although I'll probably be sued for that and maybe win or lose it, who knows? I mean, with this stuff, you never know what's going to happen."

Trump-appointed Judge Timothy J. Kelly of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia last Friday granted a temporary restraining order based on CNN’s Fifth Amendment argument that Acosta was denied due process before revocation of his press pass, because there are no formal rules covering such a situation.

The judge, however, did not immediately rule on whether the Trump White House violated Acosta’s First Amendment rights by suspending the press pass.

At the Nov. 7 news conference, Acosta lectured the president on the caravan, telling him it was not an "invasion." Trump did respond to Acosta, who refused to give up the microphone when the president decided he'd said enough and wanted to move on to another reporter.

Also See:

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

Judge Grants CNN Temporary Relief in Lawsuit, Orders WH to Return Acosta’s Press Pass

CNN Sues Trump, WH Aides Over Jim Acosta’s Press Pass Suspension

Trump to CNN’s Jim Acosta: ‘You Are a Rude, Terrible Person!’

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