WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has played down a court decision that forced him to restore the press pass credentials of CNN’s correspondent Jim Acosta and threatened to walk out of future press briefings if reporters do not act with “decorum”.
The press pass of Acosta, CNN’s White House Correspondent, was suspended last week after an altercation he had with President Trump during a news conference. The White House had accused him of placing his hand on an intern. Acosta and the CNN has denied the allegations.
A federal US court on Friday ordered the White House to immediately reinstate the press credentials of Acosta in a ruling seen as a major victory for mediapersons. Trump played down the ruling, saying it wasn’t “a big deal”. But, he said, “people have to behave”, adding his staff were “writing up rules and regulations” for the press to abide by, including sticking to the agreed number of questions.
“If they don’t listen to the rules and regulations we’ll end up back in court and will win,” Trump said. “But more importantly, we’ll just leave, and then you won’t be very happy.” “You can’t take three questions and four questions and just stand up and not sit down,” he added. “Decorum. You have to practice decorum.”
CNN this week filed a lawsuit against the White House urging the court to reinstate the press pass of its Chief White House Correspondent. In his order, US District Judge Timothy Kelly asked the White House to restore the press pass for Acosta that gives him regular access to the White House grounds to cover events and press conferences.