Hours after a federal judge ordered the White House to reinstate the press pass of CNN reporter Jim Acosta, President Donald Trump said new rules would be put in place at the White House governing the behavior of reporters, and if those rules are violated, then that would be grounds to pull the press pass of the offending reporter.
“People have to behave. We’re writing up rules and regulations,” President Trump told reporters after a bill signing ceremony at the White House, saying he wants to enforce rules of decorum.
“Decorum. You can’t take three questions and four questions. You can’t stand up and not sit down,” the President added, as he said there was one other option as well.
“We always have the option of leaving,” Mr. Trump said. “We’ll just leave, and then you won’t be very happy, because we get good ratings.”
It wasn’t clear exactly what the rules would say, or when the possible changes would be instituted – but the President made clear he wanted them to give his aides the legal predicate to get rid of reporters who don’t display the necessary ‘decorum.’
“There must be decorum at the White House,” declared White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
“With the rules and regulations, we will end up back in court and we will win,” Mr. Trump said in a photo op.
The President made his comments just moments after CNN’s Acosta returned to the White House, immediately after a federal judge appointed by the President had said that no legitimate reason had been given by the government for revoking his ‘hard pass’ to the White House.
Acosta could have – but did not – attend the photo op.
In a statement, the group representing reporters at the White House said Acosta’s return was the correct move.
“The White House Correspondents’ Association welcomes today’s ruling, in which a federal judge made it clear that the White House cannot arbitrarily revoke a White House press pass.”