AT: President Trump famously proclaims his ability to win, and already has figured out how to turn the loss dealt him by a federal judge that he appointed into a win.
In a preliminary ruling, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., sided with CNN on Friday in its lawsuit against President Trump, ordering the White House to immediately reinstate correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials.
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy J. Kelly, who was appointed by Trump, said the White House failed to provide Acosta due process in revoking his access, and he granted a temporary restraining order restoring it. Kelly noted that it was a “very limited” ruling, based on due-process considerations.
The judge said that Trump does not have to call on Acosta ever again but that the CNN chief White House correspondent is owed due process before the administration can revoke his “hard,” or permanent, press pass.
President Trump told White House reporters yesterday and repeated in an interview with Fox News that the judge’s demand of due process is easily satisfied by drawing up clear rules of decorum for press conferences:
Now President Trump is vowing to create “rules and regulations” for how White House reporters act. He says “you have to practice decorum” at the White House.
“It’s not a big deal,” Trump told Fox News in an interview on Friday. “What they said, though, is that we have to create rules and regulations for conduct, etcetera. We’re going to write them up. It’s not a big deal. If he misbehaves, we’ll throw him out or we’ll stop the news conference.”
Acosta, of course, held an impromptu press conference of his own to gloat.
But his bosses at CNN seem to understand that the gloating may be short-lived, citing the presidential promise of rules in the second sentence of its story on the judge’s ruling.
The New York Times gets it that Trump now has the upper hand in his battle with a media that wants to drive him from office:
“This could backfire,” said William L. Youmans, a professor of media law at George Washington University. Mr. Acosta “gets his credential now, but it empowers the Trump administration to come up with conduct-based criteria.”
“A ‘rudeness’ or ‘aggressive behavior’ policy would have a huge chilling effect, and would be much more damaging to the whole system,” Dr. Youmans added. “If it lowers the bar for pulling credentials, it’s a recipe for a more tepid press.”
And now, the hard truth about Acosta – Trump’s most prominent enemy in the media he describes as “fake news” – will start to come out