WASHINGTON – CNN ended on Monday its lawsuit against President Donald Trump after the White House returned reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass after suspending it after he got into a tense exchange with the president at a press conference last week.
The cable news network said Monday on Twitter: “Today the White House fully restored Jim Acosta’s press pass. As a result, our lawsuit is no longer necessary. We look forward to continuing to cover the White House.”
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that the government spoke with Acosta on Monday afternoon and told him that his press pass had been fully restored, a gesture whereby the administration backed off from the threats it had been making prior to that to exclude him from further access to the White House.
However, the return of his pass is conditional on Acosta’s abiding by a set of new rules at presidential news conferences, including asking just one question at a time.
As CNN reported, the White House earlier had warned Acosta that it would suspend his press pass again at the end of this month, when the temporary ruling to restore it issued last week by a judge expires.
The magistrate in the case, Timothy Kelly, last Friday ordered the White House to temporarily return Acosta’s accreditation for at least 14 days, a period that will lapse at the end of November if the judge does not decide to extend it.
The White House suspended Acosta’s press credentials on Nov. 7 due to his reluctance to immediately hand over the microphone after posing a question to Trump during a press conference, a move that led CNN to sue the president.
Numerous media outlets, including Trump’s favorite network – Fox News – backed CNN in its suit against the White House, concerned over the impact of the White House’s recently unprecedented move on freedom of the press.