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Trump’s Defense in CNN Lawsuit: He Has Authority to Ban All Reporters From White House

Donald Trump‘s legal team is defending his administration’s banishment of CNN Jim Acosta by saying the president has complete authority to ban all reporters from the White House for any reason.

Lawyers for CNN and the White House appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly on Wednesday for a hearing on the network’s lawsuit over Acosta’s revoked press pass. Politico reports CNN is arguing that Acosta’s ban violates his First and Fifth Amendment rights, while Deputy Assistant Attorney General James Turnham argued for Trump by saying he has “broad discretion” over which reporters get let in.

“If the president wants to exclude all reporters from the White House grounds, he has the authority to do that,” said Burnham. “There’s no First Amendment right.”

Burnham also used the hearing to argue that Acosta’s “disruptive” behavior and recent verbal clash with Trump justify the confiscation of his hard pass. Ted Boutrous, who represented CNN, argued that the Acosta ban was part of a broader campaign against the network, and that previous case law shows the White House can’t deny his credentials “for less than compelling reasons” and without the proper processes.

As Trump continues to escalate his war with the political press, multiple outlets (including Fox News) announced that they would file amicus briefs to support CNN’s lawsuit. When the president was asked about Acosta this week, he called the CNN reporter a “grandstander” who’s “bad for the country.”

[Image via screengrab]

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